Qantas orders six more Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft as jumbo jets bow out

Qantas is looking to build up its supply of 787-9 jets, which are more fuel efficient and have lower maintenance costs. (Reuters)
Updated 02 May 2018

Qantas orders six more Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft as jumbo jets bow out

SYDNEY: Australian national carrier Qantas on Wednesday ordered six Dreamliner planes from aviation giant Boeing to replace the last of its aging jumbo jets, which have been a staple of the firm’s fleet since 1971.
The deal, worth $1.7 billion at list prices, comes as Qantas looks to build up its supply of 787-9 jets, which are more fuel efficient and have lower maintenance costs.
To date it has taken delivery of four and a further four are due to arrive by the end of 2018. The latest batch are due by the end of 2020.
“This really is the end of one era and the start of another,” said chief executive Alan Joyce.
“The jumbo has been the backbone of Qantas International for more than 40 years and we’ve flown almost every type that Boeing built.
“It’s fitting that its retirement is going to coincide with our centenary in 2020.”
He added that the “better economics and a longer range” have allowed Qantas to open up new routes like Perth to London.
“With a larger fleet of Dreamliners, we’ll be looking at destinations in the Americas, Asia, South Africa and Europe,” he added.
The announcement was made as Qantas revealed in a trading update it was on track to post a record full-year underlying profit before tax of A$1.55 billion to A$1.60 billion.
The result, slated to be officially released in August, comes on the back of an aggressive efficiency drive that has included hefty redundancies and a shift away from loss-making routes, despite rising fuel costs.
“We’re seeing solid results from each of our business units, which is a reflection of broadly positive trading conditions and the work we’ve done to strengthen the group,” said Joyce.


Bailout will keep Air France-KLM afloat for less than year: CEO

Updated 21 September 2020

Bailout will keep Air France-KLM afloat for less than year: CEO

  • ‘If we base it upon the past few weeks, it is clear that the recovery in traffic will be slower than expected’
  • Governments are coming under pressure to tie airline bailouts to environmental commitments

PARIS: Bailouts provided to Air France-KLM by the French and Dutch governments will keep the airline flying less than a year, its CEO Benjamin Smith said Monday and evoked the possibility of injecting new capital.
In an interview with the French daily l’Opinion, Smith also warned that calls for airlines to contribute more to fight climate change could be catastrophic for their survival which is already under threat due to the coronavirus pandemic.
When countries imposed lockdowns earlier this year to stem the spread of the coronavirus airlines faced steep drops in revenue that have claimed several carriers.
A number of countries stepped in with support, including France which provided $8.2 billion to Air France and the Netherlands which received a $2.9 billion package.
“This support will permit us to hold on less than 12 months,” said Smith.
The reason is that air traffic is picking up very slowly as many northern hemisphere countries are now fearing a second wave of infections.
“If we base it upon the past few weeks, it is clear that the recovery in traffic will be slower than expected,” according to Smith, who said when the bailout was put together the airline was expecting a return to 2019 levels only in 2024.
Smith said discussions were already underway with shareholders on shoring up the airline group, and steps would be taken before the next regular annual meeting in the second quarter of next year.
“One, three or five billion euros? It is too early to put a figure on a possible recapitalization,” he said.
The airline group had $12.12 billion in cash or available under credit lines.
Major shareholders include the French government with a 14.3 percent stake, the Dutch government at 14 percent, as well as Delta and China Eastern airlines which each hold an 8 percent stake.
Governments are coming under pressure to tie airline bailouts to environmental commitments.
One proposal that has come from a citizen’s convention convoked by President Emmanuel Macron would cost airlines an estimated $3.6 billion.
Smith said the imposition of environmental charges on the industry would be “irresponsible and catastrophic” for Air France-KLM.