June 26: Hot on the heels of Boeing’s announcement of further delays to its 787 Dreamliner’s first flight, Qantas became the first airline to cut its order. It cancelled 15 aircraft due to be delivered in 2014 and deferred delivery of another 15 by four years.
Qantas originally ordered 65 aircraft in December 2005, but according to its Qantas Chief Executive Officer, Alan Joyce, “the operating environment for the world’s airlines has clearly changed dramatically since then. The agreement we have reached with Boeing will provide greater certainty going forward in terms of our fleet renewal and matching capacity with demand. The latest delay is disappointing, but we remain committed to the aircraft as the right choice.”
Despite the order changes, the Qantas Group will jointly remain the biggest airline customer for the 787 with 50 aircraft with another 50 additional aircraft on an option contract. The first aircraft will now be delivered in 2013.