Boeing bags Qantas deal

Boeing and Qantas announced yesterday that the Australian carrier has selected the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and plans to buy up to 115 787s for renewal and expansion of its long-haul fleet.

Boeing and Qantas are finalising an agreement that will include orders for 45 Dreamliners worth more than $8 billion at list prices, with 20 options plus purchase rights for an additional 50 airplanes. The announcement by Qantas is the largest to date for the Dreamliner in terms of the total package.

The first four 787-8s will be delivered to Qantas’ Jetstar subsidiary in 2008, with plans for a total of 28 to be in operation with Qantas and Jetstar by December 2011. Qantas’ and Jetstar’s airplanes will be split between the 787-8, containing up to 300 seats in Jetstar’s low-cost configuration; and 787-9 with up to 350 seats.

Qantas recently approved the establishment of a new long-haul, value-based airline under the Jetstar brand to commence international operations no later than January 2007. Jetstar’s initial international route structure would require 10 aircraft on point-to-point routes between Australia and Asian and Pacific cities.

Qantas has yet to announce an engine choice between the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 and GE Aircraft Engines GEnx power plants.