Past contract cancellations could delay new aircraft delivery for Qantas.

Key Points:

  • Qantas is expected to announce a potential order for Dreamliner aircraft, a decision that was previously abandoned.

  • Current delays in aircraft manufacturing could push Qantas' new aircraft deliveries to the end of the decade.

  • Vanessa Hudson, Qantas' soon-to-be CEO, emphasizes the need for fleet renewal by targeting the aging A330 aircraft.

SYDNEY — Anticipation is building around Qantas' imminent update on its fleet renewal strategy. It's widely speculated in local media that the Australia's national airline will once again opt for the Dreamliner aircraft, revisiting a purchase decision they once discarded.

This move is aligned with the airline's aspirations to further strengthen its post-COVID aviation recovery. Vanessa Hudson, the CEO-designate, has already hinted at plans to phase out the older A330 aircraft starting in the latter half of this year.

The past may cast a shadow on this upcoming decision. Back in 2012, Alan Joyce, the current CEO of Qantas, axed an $8.5 billion order for 35 Dreamliner aircraft. The airline later also dropped the option for an additional 50 aircraft.

The decisions from a decade ago might now pose challenges for the airline. With major aircraft producers, Airbus and Boeing, revealing production delays due to the pandemic's impact, new aircraft deliveries for Qantas might be postponed to the decade's end.

Within the aviation circles, there's a buzz about the possibility of Qantas considering the more substantial Airbus A350 as an alternative to the A330 neo. Such a choice could optimize operations on both domestic and international routes while simplifying maintenance tasks.

Reflecting on recent decisions, Qantas, in late 2021, chose Airbus over Boeing for its narrow-body fleet rejuvenation. They invested in Airbus A320neo and A220 jets, signaling a strategic shift. This came amidst an anticipated earnings decline of up to $1.1 billion for the first six months of the 2022 fiscal year.