Australia’s Qantas has reached a new agreement with Boeing to advance delivery of the first of eight 787-8s it has on order to mid-2012, some two years earlier than last planned. Qantas plans to use the airplanes to expand the international route network of its Jetstar low-fare subsidiary, which expects the airplanes to arrive in a two-class, 313-seat cabin configuration.
While Jetstar takes delivery of the new Dreamliners, it plans to transfer its Airbus A330-200s to Qantas, which in turn plans to retire its aging Boeing 767-300ERs. Plans call for the last seven 787-8s, along with 35 larger 787-9s, to begin arriving in 2014.
Jetstar plans to use the 787-8s to add destinations in Southern Europe and build its Asian network.
Qantas, Boeing’s second-largest Dreamliner customer, in June last year cancelled orders for fifteen 787-9s and deferred delivery of fifteen 787-8s by four years. At the time, Qantas announced a decision to scrap plans to send all the 787-8s to Jetstar by mid-2010 and, rather, wait until 2014 for the deliveries and assign the airplanes to Qantas’s domestic operation. This latest announcement partially reverses that decision.
Qantas last year also delayed delivery of four Airbus A380s for up to a year and 12 Boeing 737-800s for about 14 months.