Qantas Airways has expressed confidence in the Boeing 787 programme following recent high-profile incidents involving the aircraft type, even as the airline group further slashes its 787 order backlog by cancelling one aircraft.

The Oneworld carrier now holds orders for 14 787-8s, which will be delivered to its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar Airways from mid-2013. The latest cancellation follows Qantas' decision in August 2012 to cancel orders for 35 787-9s in a bid to reduce capital expenditure.

"With delivery of the aircraft [to Jetstar] not due until mid-2013, the airline is confident current technical issues will be resolved by Boeing," says the airline.

All eight airlines worldwide that operate the 787 have grounded the aircraft, following a series of incidents involving lithium-ion batteries on the aircraft type.

The US Federal Aviation Administration said on 16 January that it will issue an emergency airworthiness directive to ground all US-registered 787s. Authorities in Europe, India and Japan have since followed with similar directives.

Qantas' Joyce says the airline remains "firmly committed" to the 787, and continues to retain options and purchase rights for 50 787s for delivery from 2016 if exercised.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news