In view of the growing domestic aviation sector, Qantas has done some changes to its fleet plans starting 2013. An additional five Boeing 717 aircrafts will be leased along with the outright purchase of three Bombardier Q400 aircrafts which are expected to be delivered by the middle of this year.
Announcing this Qantas’ Group CEO Alan Joyce mentioned that the arrival of the new aircrafts and the expansion of the business would be strengthening their already leading domestic aviation network. He added that for the past five years it has remained a sustained and conscious effort from Qantas to invest in the successful domestic business travels sector between major capitals and also among the regional communities. They have also been investing in the fast growing intrastate markets of Queensland and Western Australia.
Needless to say the expansion of the network and the carrying capacity with the arrival of the 125-seater Boeing 717s and the 74-seater Q400s will enable Qantas to pursue that regional and overall domestic business expansion plan more seriously. Undoubtedly that is a very prudent and well calculated step by Qantas in a high potential market.
There has however been one single cancellation and that reflects the reorganization of the fleet plan from Qantas. A single Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner order was cancelled by Qantas while the remaining 14 B787-8s planned for delivery as scheduled to start in mid-2013. These are planned for use on the Jetstar network and are meant to transfer the existing Jetstar Airbus A330s to Qantas Domestic leading to the slow and ultimate retirement of the existing domestic network of 767 aircrafts.
The cancellation of the single B787-8 was possible because of the flexibility that they have in their contract with Boeing and also in their fleet network. Jetstar currently has a total of 11 A330s and this order was meant to replace all of them plus provide four extra aircrafts for the expansion of the network.
This cancellation however is not going to impact Jetstar’s long-haul plans for the future and it can always be replaced with one of their other options available. In the mean time Jetstar’s immediate short haul plans will continue to expand because of the existing order that Qantas has in place for the Airbus A320 aircraft. Mr. Joyce added further that Qantas has confirmed plans for the 787-8 Dreamliner for Qantas International and Jetstar. They have retained the rights to options and purchase of 50 B787s in about 8 to 9 different varieties to begin delivery starting in 2016.
In a different note an important milestone was achieved in the Jetstar B787-8 Dreamliner program, the first of its scheduled aircrafts have been gone into the production line. With the first aircraft scheduled to be delivered sometime in the middle of 2013, the company expects that Boeing will resolve most of it’s nagging technical issues by that time.