Jetstar will operate the Qantas Group’s first Boeing 787s from mid 2012, with the announcement that the Group has negotiated with Boeing to bring forward the delivery of its first -8 model 787s “by around two years”.
Under the new delivery schedule, the Qantas Group’s total order remains at 15 787-8s and 35 787-9s, but the first eight 787-8s will now be delivered to Jetstar from mid 2012, while the remaining seven -8s will be delivered from 2014. The first of the -9s will also be delivered from 2014.
“Today’s announcement confirms that the B787, with its new technologies and improved fuel efficiency, is still very much the right aircraft – for both Qantas and Jetstar,” said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.
The first 787-8s will be used by Jetstar for its growing international services, and will be delivered in a two class, 313-seat configuration. In all, Jetstar is planned to take delivery of the Group’s first 15 787s. This will enable Jetstar to return the A330-200s it has been using on international services to Qantas. Qantas in turn will begin retiring the remainder of its 767-300ER fleet as it takes the A330s from Jetstar and takes delivery of its own 787s.
“This is further confirmation that Qantas remains committed to growing both our airline brands by renewing our fleet and improving flexibility of our domestic and international operations,” added Joyce.
Qantas has not detailed the breakdown of how many aircraft will be flown by Jetstar and by Qantas mainline under the new delivery plan. A statement issued by Qantas in November last year had indicated that the low cost carrier would have operated up to 25 787-9s, but the announcement that Jetstar will again take delivery of the 787-8s must change that mix again.
In June 2009 Qantas announced it was cancelling orders for 15 787-9s then due for delivery in 2014-15, and the deferring the 787-8 deliveries by four years to begin from the fourth quarter of 2014. Under that plan the 787-8s were to be delivered to Qantas, not Jetstar, as earlier had been planned, with the first 787s in the Qantas Group to have been the first batch of 15 787-9s, which were to be delivered to Jetstar from mid 2013.
Qantas first announced its original order for 65 787s in December 2005.