Qantas Airways has announced an order for eight Boeing 787-9s that will be used to replace five of its ageing 747-400s and allow for future international growth.
The carrier says in a statement that it will take delivery of four 787s in the financial year ending 30 June 2017, with the remaining four delivered the year after. It has also taken 15 options and 30 purchase rights for additional 787s.
The aircraft will be powered by General Electric GEnx-1B engines.
“This milestone acquisition marks the scale of our turnaround and look ahead to a new era for our iconic international airline,” says Qantas group chief executive Alan Joyce.
He adds that the airline has looked at every aspect of the 787, and it is “the right aircraft for Qantas’s future.”
Following the retirement of the five 747-400s, the airline will retain six -400ERs in its fleet.
Qantas first ordered 787s in 2003, however due to delays in the programme and poor performance from its international division, it restructured the deal in 2013 to 14 firm orders for the 787-8 variant for budget unit Jetstar, and converted its firm orders for -9s to options and purchase rights.
The order announcement came out as the carrier announced an underlying net profit of A$975 million ($717 million), thanks in part to a A$267 million in earnings before interest and tax from the Qantas International business unit.
Source: Cirium Dashboard