Qantas Airways’ August 23 cancellation of “firm commitments” covering 35 Boeing 787-9s previously slated for delivery beginning in 2014 demonstrates the need for an airframer to remain flexible in the face of changing industry demand. The sudden change, prompted by after-tax losses in the current financial year, also demonstrates the continued vulnerability of the airline sector to rising costs and uncertain demand.
Qantas Airways resumed revenue flights today after abruptly shutting down operations on Saturday in an effort to squelch labor unrest among its various work groups. The first flight took off from Sydney to Jakarta at around 3:40 p.m. Sydney time, shortly after the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia issued its authorization on Monday afternoon. The flight stoppage disrupted the travel plans of close to 80,000 Qantas customers.
Qantas today placed an $80 million price tag on the effect to its business of the November 4 uncontained engine failure on one of its Airbus A380s and the subsequent grounding of its superjumbo fleet.
The Qantas Group has reduced its firm order for 65 Boeing 787-9s by 15 airplanes, delayed first delivery of the type by three years and suspended delivery of its order for fifteen 787-8s for four years, the Australian flag carrier said in a statement today.