Countering the excitement from this morning regarding new 787 routes being announced by United Airlines, Qantas has indicated that they are trimming their Dreamliner order book. The move – canceling 35 orders of the -9 model – is the largest blow so far to the Boeing aircraft, though the company hasn’t bailed completely on the model. While reporting a loss for the first time in 20 years the company cited uncertain global economic condition and a lowered growth outlook as the reasons for canceling the orders.
CEO Alan Joyce summed up the situation simply:
The B787 is an excellent aircraft and remains an important part of our future. However, circumstances have changed significantly since our order several years ago. It is vital that we allocate capital carefully across the group.
The canceled order will see approximately $450mm in refunds back to the company. The order cancelation represents roughly 4% of the 787 firm order book overall and 10% of the 787-9 order book.
But the move doesn’t fully remove the 787 from the Qantas fleet plan. The carrier still has 15 firm orders on the books for the -8 model of the aircraft. Those deliveries will begin in late 2013 with the planes being put in service by the JetStar arm of the company. And the carrier is maintaining 50 options on 787-9 aircraft with delivery slots there being moved up to 2016 from 2018.
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