Sat, Jun 27, 2009
Less Travel Cuts Demand For New Aircraft
Qantas Airlines has
cancelled orders for half of the Boeing 787 Dreamliners it had
expected to buy, citing the global economic recession and
plummeting demand for seats on its aircraft.
Qantas had been Boeing's biggest customer for the new,
all-composite airliner, which has suffered a series of setbacks.
The first flight of the Dreamliner was to have been this week, but
that test was cancelled after questions arose about the strength of
the composite fuselage.
Bloomberg News is reporting that the airline canceled 15 787-9
aircraft scheduled for delivery by 2015 and will delay taking
another 15 787-8s by four years, Sydney-based Qantas said in a
statement Friday. The changes weren’t influenced by
Boeing’s announcement this week of the design issue
with the planes, the airline said. At current prices, the
cancellation is valued at about $3.1 billion.
“Delaying delivery, and reducing overall 787 capacity, is
prudent,” Chief Executive Alan Joyce said in the statement.
“Qantas announced its original 787 order in December 2005,
and the operating environment for the world’s airlines has
clearly changed dramatically since then.”
Qantas now expects the first Dreamliner delivery, 15 aircraft
for its Jetstar discount carrier’s international routes,
sometime in mid-2013, about three years behind the original
Even with the cancellation, Qantas will remain one of Boeing's
biggest Dreamliner customers, along with Japan's All Nippon
Airways. Each has ordered about 50 of the planes.
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