Friday, June 26, 2009

Another Blow: QANTAS Cancels 15 787-9, defers another 15 787-8

Boy when you think that things possibly couldn't get worse, I woke up to this news. QANTAS, citing the current economic climate, decided to cancel 15 787-9s and defer another 15 787-8 to the 4th quarter of 2014. QANTAS still has a total of 50 787s on order after the cancellation and holds options on 50 787s. The firs 787s will now be the 787-9 with deliveries to start around mid-2013.

Analyst do feel that this may be the start of a cycle of cancellations and deferrals for the 787 which is already in a precarious position with the new delay. Even though QANTAS denies the order adjustment has nothing to do with the newly announced delay, the timing is suspicious.

Flightglobal's Article


Flightblogger posted an analysis of QANTAS' 787 fleet changes where he talks about the competitive factors that lead to QANTAS' change in plans. He does note that QANTAS still holds firm orders for 50 787 with another 50 options.

Flightblogger's QANTAS article


tMmM! said...

Thanks for your continued work, Uresh.

Honestly, looking at this logically, while the timing is suspicious I think I tend to believe QANTAS' statement that the cancellation wasn't delay-driven. Let's think about this:

First, they're not canceling the entire order (at this time, at any rate); they still very large number on order. Had this truly been delay-driven, I would have expected the number canceled to be significantly higher.

Second, it is a known and regrettable fact that the world economic climate is poor, and arguably still in decline. QANTAS are hardly the first airline to experience problems because of this and cancel orders; and Boeing aren't the only ones suffering because of it.

Therefore, QANTAS' positing that this is economically driven is quite believable.

Nevertheless, the point is well-taken that this new, additional delay does not help the 787's situation; and I would tend to believe it's only a matter of time before we do see more delay-driven cancellations.

Tracy "NADC10Fan" Bovee

Uresh said...

Thanks for your comment. You make many valid points especially of the fact that they didn't cancel their entire order. One does have to wonder if there are any other cancellations or deferrals waiting in the wings. However as the EIS for the 787 gets closer to that of the A350-900, customers are going to look at the total cost of acquistion of the 787 vs the A350 and see which is the better value. Therein lies the danger for the 787. It's imperative for Boeing to make sure it flies in a couple of months and flies in a safe configuration.

Vero Venia said...

Yes, there will be more deferrals and cancellations. Those deferrals and cancellations will affect other aircraft types as well. The current situation does not allow airlines to envisage any growth. They need to survive first.

tMmM! said...

Uresh, certainly agreed. The danger these continuing, extensive delays puts the program in is certainly worrisome. In the end, I think we'll find that the 787 and A350 are different-enough beasts that market share will be maintained; but how much erosion will occur first?

Vero, also agreed; but that has to be balanced by the fact that - economic considerations notwithstanding - the airlines must prepare for at least _some_ fleet modernization, if they wish to be able to a) operate economically and compete effectively in the bad times, and b) not get caught out when the bad times improve. That is why I think the damage - thus far - has been rather limited.

Anonymous said...

What makes everyone so sure that the A350 will be produced on time and will not run into similar problems that the 787 is experiencing.

The plane is far from fully designed and its efficient production must also questioned. I think ordering the A350 just gives fleets a longer time not to purchase.