Qantas "very p*ssed off" with Boeing over 787 delays

By David Flynn, June 12 2012

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says he is "very pissed off" at Boeing over the delays to the 787 Dreamliner, which would have seen the airline enjoying significantly lower costs in fuel and maintenance compared to the Red Roo's current aging fleet.

Speaking with The Australian, Joyce expressed a frank degree of disatisfaction on the much-delayed Dreamliner and its impact on the airline's bottom line – especially for Qantas International, which last week flagged a loss of $450 million.

Joyce also says the airline had been hit with its "highest ever" fuel bill, which is likely to nudge A$4.4 billion for the year to June 30 – an increase of $700m over the previous 12 months.

Joyce said he was "very pissed off" with Boeing for the 787's late arrival, as the next-gen jetliner had "an unbelievably lower cost base".

This includes drinking 20 per cent less fuel and a longer period between maintenance checks compared to today's aircraft.

Boeing's delivery schedule for Qantas is some seven years off the pace...
Boeing's delivery schedule for Qantas is some seven years off the pace...

Qantas was originally slated to receive its first Boeing 787 for use by Jetstar in August 2008, with Dreamliners carrying the Flying Kangaroo livery to debut in July 2009.

However, Boeing's production schedule steadily slipped from 2006 to 2011, when it handed over the first Dreamliner to launch partner ANA in October last year.

Qantas now won't see the Boeing 787-8 until it joins the Jetstar fleet in August 2013, while the Red Roo's own stretched 787-9 aircraft could arrive as late as 2016 – as much as seven years later than first planned.

(As an aside for context, jet fuel costs have steadily climbed almost 50% from the end of 2009 through to today, from US$1.38 per Gallon to US$2.69.)

Joyce believes the 787 "is going to make a huge difference to the economics of international routes as the 707 and other aircraft types have done."

He also predicted "a huge opportunity" for "flights to major (European) cities" via China – "particularly when the 787 comes" – if the government's Qantas Sale Act was loosened to allow greater foreign investment in the airline.

"The act limits foreign investment in the company and until that changes they (Europe's airports) will not open up," Joyce explained.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


30 May 2011

Total posts 37

don't blame someone else for the mistakes - management made those decisions =p

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Nov 2011

Total posts 121

Should've locked in some 777s like other did then.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Jan 2012

Total posts 173

In all fairness to Joyce, he wasn't the decision maker earlier in the piece when B777's should have been considered.

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 526

So why not delay implementation to Jetstar and implement earlier to Qantas mainline? Why delay it even more if Qantas are so desperate for the planes....

26 Aug 2011

Total posts 17

I think that is right - why give it to Jetstar first, I wonder?


04 Nov 2010

Total posts 670

LOL, more armchair CEOs coming out to say how they would have done things! Seriously though, give Alan joyce a break, he wasn't in the 'hot seat' when these decisions were made and the cost of grabbing a bunch of 777s as short-term fillers would have been insane.

But I agree that Qantas is in a bind now, as much as I would like to see them pinch some of the Jetstar 787s for domestic use, that would mean they have fewer of JQ's Airbus A330s to be handed down so they can retire their 767 gas-guzzlers.

They're sort of caught in the middle, damned if they do and damned if they don't!

25 Apr 2012

Total posts 3

In all fairness, Joyce was the one to cancel Qantas' order on 787-8s and wait for 787-9s... don't point the finger Alan!

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