Qantas cancels Dreamliner orders

Australian carrier scraps orders for 15 Boeing 787s and defers orders for 15 more.

    Boeing has announced it will delay the Dreamliner's first test flight due to a structural flaw [EPA]

    Alan Joyce, the chief executive of Qantas, said that discussions with Boeing had commenced some months ago and the changes to the B787 orders were appropriate in the current climate.

    He denied the decision had been influenced by the announcement this week of a design issue and further delay to the aircraft's first flight.

    'Dramatic change'

    Joyce said the "operating environment for the world's airlines has clearly changed dramatically" since Qantas announced its original B787 order in 2005.

    "Delaying delivery, and reducing overall B787 capacity, is prudent, while still enabling Qantas and [budget subsidiary] Jetstar to take advantage of growth opportunities and market demands, both domestically and internationally."

    Qantas said last month that it expects to weather the global aviation crisis [EPA]

    Last month Qantas said it expected to weather the aviation crisis - the industry's worst on record - without having to further cut capacity or jobs, or raise new capital.

    It added that it retained the ability to buy up to 50 additional aircraft.

    But the company has forecast a loss in the second half of its 2009 financial year, and announced in March it would shed 90 top management positions, adding to 1,500 job cuts announced last year.

    Aviation analysts have warned that more Boeing customers could follow Qantas' move.

    Boeing, already pummelled by the economic slowdown and Pentagon budget cuts, said earlier this week that it would delay the first test flight of the Dreamliner.

    The Dreamliner is a carbon-composite plane that promises to pioneer an era of lighter, more fuel-efficient planes.

    Customers with Dreamliner orders have expressed disappointment over the latest delay which was due to a structural flaw.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?