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787-9’s Australian visit highlights Qantas’s rough ride

written by Gerard Frawley | January 6, 2014
ZB002 departs Brisbane for Alice Springs on Monday afternoon. (John Absolon)
ZB002 departs Brisbane for Alice Springs on Monday afternoon. (John Absolon)

It was more than just the blue skies and hot weather that contrasted Boeing 787-8 test aircraft ZB002’s arrival in Australia on Monday with its stop over in New Zealand on the weekend.

Boeing has chosen Alice Springs as the location for hot weather testing as part of the 787-9’s flight test program, and rather than fly the aircraft direct to Australia, flew ZB002 via Auckland where it could be shown to launch operator Air New Zealand. That was a chance for the airline’s CEO, pilots and other staff to look over an aircraft that will join the Air NZ fleet from this July. ZB002 might have touched down at Auckland – the first time a 787-9 had landed anywhere outside of the US – on Saturday evening in the gathering gloom of darkness and was then shown to Air New Zealand staff and media in an Air NZ engineering hangar the following day to ward off the forecast rain showers, but it was an otherwise warm reception for an aircraft that will soon form an important part of the kiwi flag carrier’s international fleet.

In contrast, while the 787-9’s visit to Australia is generating much interest in Alice Springs, where it landed on Monday afternoon after transiting Brisbane to clear customs, there was no show and tell with the 787-9’s Australian customer – Qantas.

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Indeed Qantas would probably preferred the 787-9 had not visited Australia, as its arrival only serves to draw attention to the fact that Qantas cancelled firm orders for no fewer than 35 787-9s in August 2012 as part of efforts to wind back capital expenditure in the face of financial losses. With that cancellation Qantas has no 787-9 firm orders but it does have options and purchase rights for up to 50 787s (either -9s or -8s). Qantas has said it need not make a decision on converting those options to firm orders until 2015 and has said it would only do so should its international operations return to profitability. But that was before last month’s revelation that Qantas is on track to post record losses this current financial year, that it is sacking further staff to cut costs, and that it is considering asset sales to raise cash. So ordering new aeroplanes, even aircraft as capable and seemingly as suited to Qantas as the 787-9, seems an unlikely prospect in the next few years.

The Qantas Group was at one time the largest airline customer for the 787, but with only 14 787-8s for Jetstar on firm order and the prospect of any 787-9 firm orders in the near future receding, it’s probably no surprise that Qantas and Boeing elected not to bring the 787-9 to Sydney for a show and tell as part of its Australian visit.

The 787-9 has come to Australia in search of hot weather, but it has landed in Australia amidst what is a perfect storm for Qantas. How well Qantas rides out that storm will determine if the 787-9 returns to Australia with a flying kangaroo on its tail.

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

12 Comments

  • john

    says:

    Yet again aa turn around a great story about the 787-9 in aus for the bleeding heart of qf. Why do we have to always read about an airline run by incompetent management who are sacking hard working aussies who have to pay the morgage and feed the kids.

  • Sam

    says:

    John,

    AA magazine aren’t the ones cutting Aussie jobs, they’re simply reporting on the state of Australia’s flag carrier, as I would expect from a credible aviation news outlet. Bring blissfully ignorant to the reality if qantas’ current financial situation isn’t going to help anyone. If you want an article purely on the 787-9 flight testing in aus, refer to aa’s article on the 5th.

  • Glen

    says:

    I do wonder how QANTAS will ever return to profits with the useless management they have . So they think using old inefficent aircraft using twice or more the amount or more of fuel compared to the 787 will get them out of this deep dark hole they dug for themselves ? Good luck I say Joyce should have been fired years ago all he seems to do cut back jobs instead of making the airline more efficent with new aircraft. Spend money to save money

  • Brendan

    says:

    How can you have a profitable Qantas, when Alan Joyce has been transferring money all the jetstar franchises that have always been running at a loss. Alan & co should go and get some real accountants in to look at the books so the truth will really come out, not just media spin that Joyce is paying for.

  • bob

    says:

    Sack alan joyce and the board and do it now! So qantas has a chance of recovery befor its to late!

  • john

    says:

    The bottom line is that Qantas should have recieved the 787s!

    Then they would have a superior aircraft and cabin to take it up to Virgin Australia, primarily on the Perth route!

    No doubt the prime reason they went to Jetstar was crew costs, if it were flown by QF Crew.

    However if Joyce was prepared to ground the Airline over industrial matters, surely he could have announced that the 787 would be crewed on a new contract, take it or leave it, by Qantas and Jetstar pilots!
    I am sure there would have been sufficient takers from the ranks, and if not, no doubt plenty of pilots currently working in the sandpit, would have jumped at the chance to come home and fly the 787!

  • Ray E

    says:

    Simple solution would of been for Qantas to retire 767s, A330s take over the 767 duties and 787 fly the A330s international and trans-continental routes. Would save heaps of money cause they wouldn’t have to convert jetstar A330s to Qantas configuration and fuel consumption greatly reduced. Makes sense doesn’t it?

  • bob

    says:

    How better qantas would be if they had received the 787 and jet star had nithing to di with qantas? Jet star is the cause of alan joyce s problems. As a ceo he should be concerned about his staff the future of qantas
    After all he pays he ceo to make jetstar what it is!

  • Paule

    says:

    The whole thing is like watching a slow train wreck. Customers, shareholders, patriots and those generally interested in Australian jobs are watching Joyce destroy what was once a great Australian icon. How far out of touch can a management team be? Perhaps they all need to sit in the QF Club and listen to the general discussion among loyal, suffering customers about what the perception in the general public is. A management too timid to make bold decisions, not willing to stand by the customers, the staff and their own decisions. Yes the presence of the 787-9 should leave the QF management red-faced. It’s the plane of an airline that could have/should have been!

  • John Harrison

    says:

    Wow an article about Boeing’s newest aircraft B787 and every body its hammering Qantas and their management team. Now I’m the first to agree about Qantas, their current troubles and the bad management team they currently have. It also shows how many “men in the street” all think the same about Qantas and Jetstar. The way the two companies are run. I’ve said all along the new B787 should be in Qantas colours not Jetstar’s.
    Also don’t forget the lack of interest (or so it would seem) of Qantas and the new Boeing 777X.
    All we can do is wait and see what happens to this once great wonderful company. Please can someone be found to get rid of current CEO and senior managers and put someone in their place. From within the company would be best I would think.

  • Martin

    says:

    Glen, I noticed you wrote: “So they think using old inefficent aircraft using twice or more the amount of fuel compared to the 787…”. What aircraft are you comparing the 787 against and which variants or each? Do you mean 787-9 vs Airbus A330-200’s? That difference sounded extreme so I tried to hunt around for some reliable comparative fuel consumption data for different airliners. It seems the data isn’t conveninently or consistently published. However on the Wikipedia page describing the Dreamliner it indicates that even Boeing were only aiming for a 20% improvement in fuel consumption of the 787 over the 767 it replaces (presumably on a per seat basis). The site goes on to report that initial production 787’s were over the intended weight by around 8% so that would have eaten into such fuel saving targets. The airline ANA claimed a 21% fuel burn reduction for their new 787 over their 767’s but I wonder how much they have corrected figures so that they are truely ‘apples vs apples’ in terms of ambient conditions etc given another early customer indicated a 10-15% range reduction over the original spec (and range is virtually inversely proportional to fuel consumption). Also the A330 is a newer design than the 767 so I would expect it to have a significantly improved fuel efficiency than the 767. We might therefore only be talking about say a 10% difference in fuel consumption per seat. I would be happy if AA or anyone else gave some hard data on this.
    I also see there is a lot of commentary in other posts about the poor or imcompetent management of Qantas but typically without backing that criticism up with specific examples. I don’t follow the running of Qantas carefully but the only obvious poor management decision I can recall was the management imposed grounding of the airline some time ago that related to an industrial dispute. In that case, I don’t know what happened to the motto “the customer always comes first” given the inconvenience it would have caused. As for other decisions such as targetted staff cuts to manage expenses, this would occur for even the best run company when the economy takes a downwards turn. The salary costs for an Australian based company would also undoubtedly be greater than many of the airlines that Qantas competes against so number of personnel to run the company would be a key factor in its viability (or otherwise). Also regarding the decision to cancel the 787-9 order, that seems reasonable to me. No point in spending billions on new aircraft orders if the capital isn’t available simply in order to gain a modest improvement in fuel efficiency. The cost of any loaned money may exceed the fuel saved and the risk is that you go into liquidation in the process. It is possibly far more cost effective to refurbish the interior of existing aircraft with new seats etc to make them feel like new as far as passengers are concerned but at a fraction of the cost of a new aircraft (and I read in another AA item that Air New Zealand has even developed its own seat design for such refurbishments).
    In looking for technical data, I also looked at the figures on the wiki page for Qantas. While those figures are combined data across the whole group, they were still interesting: Personnel numbers have remained relatively steady yet passengers carried have increased from 38.6 million in 2008 to 48.2 million in 2013 (25% increase). Load factors have remained relatively constant at around 80% throughout that period. Aircraft numbers (across the group) have increased from 224 to 312 (a 39% increase, though obviously not in total seat numbers). While Qantas profit may be down, those figures don’t seem unhealthy. I think it is worth reflecting on the fate of Ansett in comparison…

  • john

    says:

    Jetstar International should have received Qantas 767s…not A330s, Qantas would have then had the A330s to compete with Virgin, and the the 787s could have been used by Qantas on either regional Asian routes or to Perth.
    Jetstar is a subsidary of QANTAS……………….they have lost sight of the main game!!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

787-9’s Australian visit highlights Qantas’s rough ride

written by Gerard Frawley | January 6, 2014
ZB002 departs Brisbane for Alice Springs on Monday afternoon. (John Absolon)
ZB002 departs Brisbane for Alice Springs on Monday afternoon. (John Absolon)

It was more than just the blue skies and hot weather that contrasted Boeing 787-8 test aircraft ZB002’s arrival in Australia on Monday with its stop over in New Zealand on the weekend.

Boeing has chosen Alice Springs as the location for hot weather testing as part of the 787-9’s flight test program, and rather than fly the aircraft direct to Australia, flew ZB002 via Auckland where it could be shown to launch operator Air New Zealand. That was a chance for the airline’s CEO, pilots and other staff to look over an aircraft that will join the Air NZ fleet from this July. ZB002 might have touched down at Auckland – the first time a 787-9 had landed anywhere outside of the US – on Saturday evening in the gathering gloom of darkness and was then shown to Air New Zealand staff and media in an Air NZ engineering hangar the following day to ward off the forecast rain showers, but it was an otherwise warm reception for an aircraft that will soon form an important part of the kiwi flag carrier’s international fleet.

In contrast, while the 787-9’s visit to Australia is generating much interest in Alice Springs, where it landed on Monday afternoon after transiting Brisbane to clear customs, there was no show and tell with the 787-9’s Australian customer – Qantas.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Indeed Qantas would probably preferred the 787-9 had not visited Australia, as its arrival only serves to draw attention to the fact that Qantas cancelled firm orders for no fewer than 35 787-9s in August 2012 as part of efforts to wind back capital expenditure in the face of financial losses. With that cancellation Qantas has no 787-9 firm orders but it does have options and purchase rights for up to 50 787s (either -9s or -8s). Qantas has said it need not make a decision on converting those options to firm orders until 2015 and has said it would only do so should its international operations return to profitability. But that was before last month’s revelation that Qantas is on track to post record losses this current financial year, that it is sacking further staff to cut costs, and that it is considering asset sales to raise cash. So ordering new aeroplanes, even aircraft as capable and seemingly as suited to Qantas as the 787-9, seems an unlikely prospect in the next few years.

The Qantas Group was at one time the largest airline customer for the 787, but with only 14 787-8s for Jetstar on firm order and the prospect of any 787-9 firm orders in the near future receding, it’s probably no surprise that Qantas and Boeing elected not to bring the 787-9 to Sydney for a show and tell as part of its Australian visit.

The 787-9 has come to Australia in search of hot weather, but it has landed in Australia amidst what is a perfect storm for Qantas. How well Qantas rides out that storm will determine if the 787-9 returns to Australia with a flying kangaroo on its tail.

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

12 Comments

  • john

    says:

    Yet again aa turn around a great story about the 787-9 in aus for the bleeding heart of qf. Why do we have to always read about an airline run by incompetent management who are sacking hard working aussies who have to pay the morgage and feed the kids.

  • Sam

    says:

    John,

    AA magazine aren’t the ones cutting Aussie jobs, they’re simply reporting on the state of Australia’s flag carrier, as I would expect from a credible aviation news outlet. Bring blissfully ignorant to the reality if qantas’ current financial situation isn’t going to help anyone. If you want an article purely on the 787-9 flight testing in aus, refer to aa’s article on the 5th.

  • Glen

    says:

    I do wonder how QANTAS will ever return to profits with the useless management they have . So they think using old inefficent aircraft using twice or more the amount or more of fuel compared to the 787 will get them out of this deep dark hole they dug for themselves ? Good luck I say Joyce should have been fired years ago all he seems to do cut back jobs instead of making the airline more efficent with new aircraft. Spend money to save money

  • Brendan

    says:

    How can you have a profitable Qantas, when Alan Joyce has been transferring money all the jetstar franchises that have always been running at a loss. Alan & co should go and get some real accountants in to look at the books so the truth will really come out, not just media spin that Joyce is paying for.

  • bob

    says:

    Sack alan joyce and the board and do it now! So qantas has a chance of recovery befor its to late!

  • john

    says:

    The bottom line is that Qantas should have recieved the 787s!

    Then they would have a superior aircraft and cabin to take it up to Virgin Australia, primarily on the Perth route!

    No doubt the prime reason they went to Jetstar was crew costs, if it were flown by QF Crew.

    However if Joyce was prepared to ground the Airline over industrial matters, surely he could have announced that the 787 would be crewed on a new contract, take it or leave it, by Qantas and Jetstar pilots!
    I am sure there would have been sufficient takers from the ranks, and if not, no doubt plenty of pilots currently working in the sandpit, would have jumped at the chance to come home and fly the 787!

  • Ray E

    says:

    Simple solution would of been for Qantas to retire 767s, A330s take over the 767 duties and 787 fly the A330s international and trans-continental routes. Would save heaps of money cause they wouldn’t have to convert jetstar A330s to Qantas configuration and fuel consumption greatly reduced. Makes sense doesn’t it?

  • bob

    says:

    How better qantas would be if they had received the 787 and jet star had nithing to di with qantas? Jet star is the cause of alan joyce s problems. As a ceo he should be concerned about his staff the future of qantas
    After all he pays he ceo to make jetstar what it is!

  • Paule

    says:

    The whole thing is like watching a slow train wreck. Customers, shareholders, patriots and those generally interested in Australian jobs are watching Joyce destroy what was once a great Australian icon. How far out of touch can a management team be? Perhaps they all need to sit in the QF Club and listen to the general discussion among loyal, suffering customers about what the perception in the general public is. A management too timid to make bold decisions, not willing to stand by the customers, the staff and their own decisions. Yes the presence of the 787-9 should leave the QF management red-faced. It’s the plane of an airline that could have/should have been!

  • John Harrison

    says:

    Wow an article about Boeing’s newest aircraft B787 and every body its hammering Qantas and their management team. Now I’m the first to agree about Qantas, their current troubles and the bad management team they currently have. It also shows how many “men in the street” all think the same about Qantas and Jetstar. The way the two companies are run. I’ve said all along the new B787 should be in Qantas colours not Jetstar’s.
    Also don’t forget the lack of interest (or so it would seem) of Qantas and the new Boeing 777X.
    All we can do is wait and see what happens to this once great wonderful company. Please can someone be found to get rid of current CEO and senior managers and put someone in their place. From within the company would be best I would think.

  • Martin

    says:

    Glen, I noticed you wrote: “So they think using old inefficent aircraft using twice or more the amount of fuel compared to the 787…”. What aircraft are you comparing the 787 against and which variants or each? Do you mean 787-9 vs Airbus A330-200’s? That difference sounded extreme so I tried to hunt around for some reliable comparative fuel consumption data for different airliners. It seems the data isn’t conveninently or consistently published. However on the Wikipedia page describing the Dreamliner it indicates that even Boeing were only aiming for a 20% improvement in fuel consumption of the 787 over the 767 it replaces (presumably on a per seat basis). The site goes on to report that initial production 787’s were over the intended weight by around 8% so that would have eaten into such fuel saving targets. The airline ANA claimed a 21% fuel burn reduction for their new 787 over their 767’s but I wonder how much they have corrected figures so that they are truely ‘apples vs apples’ in terms of ambient conditions etc given another early customer indicated a 10-15% range reduction over the original spec (and range is virtually inversely proportional to fuel consumption). Also the A330 is a newer design than the 767 so I would expect it to have a significantly improved fuel efficiency than the 767. We might therefore only be talking about say a 10% difference in fuel consumption per seat. I would be happy if AA or anyone else gave some hard data on this.
    I also see there is a lot of commentary in other posts about the poor or imcompetent management of Qantas but typically without backing that criticism up with specific examples. I don’t follow the running of Qantas carefully but the only obvious poor management decision I can recall was the management imposed grounding of the airline some time ago that related to an industrial dispute. In that case, I don’t know what happened to the motto “the customer always comes first” given the inconvenience it would have caused. As for other decisions such as targetted staff cuts to manage expenses, this would occur for even the best run company when the economy takes a downwards turn. The salary costs for an Australian based company would also undoubtedly be greater than many of the airlines that Qantas competes against so number of personnel to run the company would be a key factor in its viability (or otherwise). Also regarding the decision to cancel the 787-9 order, that seems reasonable to me. No point in spending billions on new aircraft orders if the capital isn’t available simply in order to gain a modest improvement in fuel efficiency. The cost of any loaned money may exceed the fuel saved and the risk is that you go into liquidation in the process. It is possibly far more cost effective to refurbish the interior of existing aircraft with new seats etc to make them feel like new as far as passengers are concerned but at a fraction of the cost of a new aircraft (and I read in another AA item that Air New Zealand has even developed its own seat design for such refurbishments).
    In looking for technical data, I also looked at the figures on the wiki page for Qantas. While those figures are combined data across the whole group, they were still interesting: Personnel numbers have remained relatively steady yet passengers carried have increased from 38.6 million in 2008 to 48.2 million in 2013 (25% increase). Load factors have remained relatively constant at around 80% throughout that period. Aircraft numbers (across the group) have increased from 224 to 312 (a 39% increase, though obviously not in total seat numbers). While Qantas profit may be down, those figures don’t seem unhealthy. I think it is worth reflecting on the fate of Ansett in comparison…

  • john

    says:

    Jetstar International should have received Qantas 767s…not A330s, Qantas would have then had the A330s to compete with Virgin, and the the 787s could have been used by Qantas on either regional Asian routes or to Perth.
    Jetstar is a subsidary of QANTAS……………….they have lost sight of the main game!!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

787-9’s Australian visit highlights Qantas’s rough ride

written by Gerard Frawley | January 6, 2014
ZB002 departs Brisbane for Alice Springs on Monday afternoon. (John Absolon)
ZB002 departs Brisbane for Alice Springs on Monday afternoon. (John Absolon)

It was more than just the blue skies and hot weather that contrasted Boeing 787-8 test aircraft ZB002’s arrival in Australia on Monday with its stop over in New Zealand on the weekend.

Boeing has chosen Alice Springs as the location for hot weather testing as part of the 787-9’s flight test program, and rather than fly the aircraft direct to Australia, flew ZB002 via Auckland where it could be shown to launch operator Air New Zealand. That was a chance for the airline’s CEO, pilots and other staff to look over an aircraft that will join the Air NZ fleet from this July. ZB002 might have touched down at Auckland – the first time a 787-9 had landed anywhere outside of the US – on Saturday evening in the gathering gloom of darkness and was then shown to Air New Zealand staff and media in an Air NZ engineering hangar the following day to ward off the forecast rain showers, but it was an otherwise warm reception for an aircraft that will soon form an important part of the kiwi flag carrier’s international fleet.

In contrast, while the 787-9’s visit to Australia is generating much interest in Alice Springs, where it landed on Monday afternoon after transiting Brisbane to clear customs, there was no show and tell with the 787-9’s Australian customer – Qantas.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Indeed Qantas would probably preferred the 787-9 had not visited Australia, as its arrival only serves to draw attention to the fact that Qantas cancelled firm orders for no fewer than 35 787-9s in August 2012 as part of efforts to wind back capital expenditure in the face of financial losses. With that cancellation Qantas has no 787-9 firm orders but it does have options and purchase rights for up to 50 787s (either -9s or -8s). Qantas has said it need not make a decision on converting those options to firm orders until 2015 and has said it would only do so should its international operations return to profitability. But that was before last month’s revelation that Qantas is on track to post record losses this current financial year, that it is sacking further staff to cut costs, and that it is considering asset sales to raise cash. So ordering new aeroplanes, even aircraft as capable and seemingly as suited to Qantas as the 787-9, seems an unlikely prospect in the next few years.

The Qantas Group was at one time the largest airline customer for the 787, but with only 14 787-8s for Jetstar on firm order and the prospect of any 787-9 firm orders in the near future receding, it’s probably no surprise that Qantas and Boeing elected not to bring the 787-9 to Sydney for a show and tell as part of its Australian visit.

The 787-9 has come to Australia in search of hot weather, but it has landed in Australia amidst what is a perfect storm for Qantas. How well Qantas rides out that storm will determine if the 787-9 returns to Australia with a flying kangaroo on its tail.

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

12 Comments

  • john

    says:

    Yet again aa turn around a great story about the 787-9 in aus for the bleeding heart of qf. Why do we have to always read about an airline run by incompetent management who are sacking hard working aussies who have to pay the morgage and feed the kids.

  • Sam

    says:

    John,

    AA magazine aren’t the ones cutting Aussie jobs, they’re simply reporting on the state of Australia’s flag carrier, as I would expect from a credible aviation news outlet. Bring blissfully ignorant to the reality if qantas’ current financial situation isn’t going to help anyone. If you want an article purely on the 787-9 flight testing in aus, refer to aa’s article on the 5th.

  • Glen

    says:

    I do wonder how QANTAS will ever return to profits with the useless management they have . So they think using old inefficent aircraft using twice or more the amount or more of fuel compared to the 787 will get them out of this deep dark hole they dug for themselves ? Good luck I say Joyce should have been fired years ago all he seems to do cut back jobs instead of making the airline more efficent with new aircraft. Spend money to save money

  • Brendan

    says:

    How can you have a profitable Qantas, when Alan Joyce has been transferring money all the jetstar franchises that have always been running at a loss. Alan & co should go and get some real accountants in to look at the books so the truth will really come out, not just media spin that Joyce is paying for.

  • bob

    says:

    Sack alan joyce and the board and do it now! So qantas has a chance of recovery befor its to late!

  • john

    says:

    The bottom line is that Qantas should have recieved the 787s!

    Then they would have a superior aircraft and cabin to take it up to Virgin Australia, primarily on the Perth route!

    No doubt the prime reason they went to Jetstar was crew costs, if it were flown by QF Crew.

    However if Joyce was prepared to ground the Airline over industrial matters, surely he could have announced that the 787 would be crewed on a new contract, take it or leave it, by Qantas and Jetstar pilots!
    I am sure there would have been sufficient takers from the ranks, and if not, no doubt plenty of pilots currently working in the sandpit, would have jumped at the chance to come home and fly the 787!

  • Ray E

    says:

    Simple solution would of been for Qantas to retire 767s, A330s take over the 767 duties and 787 fly the A330s international and trans-continental routes. Would save heaps of money cause they wouldn’t have to convert jetstar A330s to Qantas configuration and fuel consumption greatly reduced. Makes sense doesn’t it?

  • bob

    says:

    How better qantas would be if they had received the 787 and jet star had nithing to di with qantas? Jet star is the cause of alan joyce s problems. As a ceo he should be concerned about his staff the future of qantas
    After all he pays he ceo to make jetstar what it is!

  • Paule

    says:

    The whole thing is like watching a slow train wreck. Customers, shareholders, patriots and those generally interested in Australian jobs are watching Joyce destroy what was once a great Australian icon. How far out of touch can a management team be? Perhaps they all need to sit in the QF Club and listen to the general discussion among loyal, suffering customers about what the perception in the general public is. A management too timid to make bold decisions, not willing to stand by the customers, the staff and their own decisions. Yes the presence of the 787-9 should leave the QF management red-faced. It’s the plane of an airline that could have/should have been!

  • John Harrison

    says:

    Wow an article about Boeing’s newest aircraft B787 and every body its hammering Qantas and their management team. Now I’m the first to agree about Qantas, their current troubles and the bad management team they currently have. It also shows how many “men in the street” all think the same about Qantas and Jetstar. The way the two companies are run. I’ve said all along the new B787 should be in Qantas colours not Jetstar’s.
    Also don’t forget the lack of interest (or so it would seem) of Qantas and the new Boeing 777X.
    All we can do is wait and see what happens to this once great wonderful company. Please can someone be found to get rid of current CEO and senior managers and put someone in their place. From within the company would be best I would think.

  • Martin

    says:

    Glen, I noticed you wrote: “So they think using old inefficent aircraft using twice or more the amount of fuel compared to the 787…”. What aircraft are you comparing the 787 against and which variants or each? Do you mean 787-9 vs Airbus A330-200’s? That difference sounded extreme so I tried to hunt around for some reliable comparative fuel consumption data for different airliners. It seems the data isn’t conveninently or consistently published. However on the Wikipedia page describing the Dreamliner it indicates that even Boeing were only aiming for a 20% improvement in fuel consumption of the 787 over the 767 it replaces (presumably on a per seat basis). The site goes on to report that initial production 787’s were over the intended weight by around 8% so that would have eaten into such fuel saving targets. The airline ANA claimed a 21% fuel burn reduction for their new 787 over their 767’s but I wonder how much they have corrected figures so that they are truely ‘apples vs apples’ in terms of ambient conditions etc given another early customer indicated a 10-15% range reduction over the original spec (and range is virtually inversely proportional to fuel consumption). Also the A330 is a newer design than the 767 so I would expect it to have a significantly improved fuel efficiency than the 767. We might therefore only be talking about say a 10% difference in fuel consumption per seat. I would be happy if AA or anyone else gave some hard data on this.
    I also see there is a lot of commentary in other posts about the poor or imcompetent management of Qantas but typically without backing that criticism up with specific examples. I don’t follow the running of Qantas carefully but the only obvious poor management decision I can recall was the management imposed grounding of the airline some time ago that related to an industrial dispute. In that case, I don’t know what happened to the motto “the customer always comes first” given the inconvenience it would have caused. As for other decisions such as targetted staff cuts to manage expenses, this would occur for even the best run company when the economy takes a downwards turn. The salary costs for an Australian based company would also undoubtedly be greater than many of the airlines that Qantas competes against so number of personnel to run the company would be a key factor in its viability (or otherwise). Also regarding the decision to cancel the 787-9 order, that seems reasonable to me. No point in spending billions on new aircraft orders if the capital isn’t available simply in order to gain a modest improvement in fuel efficiency. The cost of any loaned money may exceed the fuel saved and the risk is that you go into liquidation in the process. It is possibly far more cost effective to refurbish the interior of existing aircraft with new seats etc to make them feel like new as far as passengers are concerned but at a fraction of the cost of a new aircraft (and I read in another AA item that Air New Zealand has even developed its own seat design for such refurbishments).
    In looking for technical data, I also looked at the figures on the wiki page for Qantas. While those figures are combined data across the whole group, they were still interesting: Personnel numbers have remained relatively steady yet passengers carried have increased from 38.6 million in 2008 to 48.2 million in 2013 (25% increase). Load factors have remained relatively constant at around 80% throughout that period. Aircraft numbers (across the group) have increased from 224 to 312 (a 39% increase, though obviously not in total seat numbers). While Qantas profit may be down, those figures don’t seem unhealthy. I think it is worth reflecting on the fate of Ansett in comparison…

  • john

    says:

    Jetstar International should have received Qantas 767s…not A330s, Qantas would have then had the A330s to compete with Virgin, and the the 787s could have been used by Qantas on either regional Asian routes or to Perth.
    Jetstar is a subsidary of QANTAS……………….they have lost sight of the main game!!!

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