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QANTAS Group to lease five Boeing 717s, order three Bombardier Q400s and cancel one Boeing 787

The QANTAS Group (QANTAS Airways) (Sydney) has  announced an update to its fleet plan to capitalize on growth in Australian domestic markets.

QANTAS will lease an additional five Boeing 717 aircraft (above) and purchase three Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) aircraft (below), due to start arriving from the second half of 2013.

The company has also made a change to its international fleet plan, with the cancellation of a single Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on order for Jetstar Airways.

The remaining 14 Boeing 787-8s will be delivered to Jetstar as planned, with the first aircraft to arrive in mid-2013. This will enable the gradual transfer of Airbus A330 aircraft from Jetstar to QANTAS Domestic and the retirement of QANTAS’ Boeing 767 fleet.

Mr Joyce said the cancellation of one B787 took advantage of flexibility in its fleet plan and contract with Boeing.

“The original 787 order for Jetstar was designed to replace all 11 of its existing A330s that are used for long haul services plus provide another four lines of flying for future growth.

“While the plan is for Jetstar’s long haul network to keep expanding we are using the flexibility in our agreement with Boeing to cancel a firm order knowing that we can replace it with one of our 50 options for this aircraft down the track, and with a full view of what market conditions are like at the time,” added Mr Joyce.

Jetstar’s short haul growth plans continue to be supported by the QANTAS Group’s existing order of Airbus A320 aircraft.

Mr Joyce said the QANTAS Group remained firmly committed to the Dreamliners for both Qantas International and Jetstar, and that it retained options and purchase rights for 50 Boeing 787s of either -8 or -9 variants available for delivery from 2016.

In an important milestone for the Jetstar Boeing 787 program, production of its first aircraft has just begun. With delivery of the aircraft not due until mid-2013, the airline is confident current technical issues will be resolved by Boeing.

The decision to amend the 787 order was reached at the end of 2012 and the agreement with Boeing has now been finalized.

The fleet changes announced will have no material impact on the Group’s planned capital expenditure, which remains unchanged at $1.8 billion for FY13 and $1.9 billion for FY14.

Top Copyright Photo: Peter Gates. Boeing 717-231 VH-NXN (msn 55095) of Cobham Aviation Services Australia operating as a QANTAS Link carrier poses for the camera at Brisbane.

QANTAS Link-Cobham Aviation Services Australia: AG Slide Show

QANTAS logo

QANTAS Link-Sunstate Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: John Adlard. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) VH-QOC (msn 4117) of Sunstate Airlines approaches the Sydney hub.

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