Qantas to purchase 20 Dreamliners

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Qantas Airways has announced it will buy 20 more B787 aircraft and convert 20 purchase rights into options for the new generation Dreamliner.

The additional aircraft - 65 firm aircraft and 20 options - will take Qantas' existing order for the B787 to 85 aircraft. Qantas has a further 30 purchase rights for the B787.

Geoff Dixon, the Chief Executive of Qantas, said the 787s would be used by the Qantas Group's two major brands, Qantas and Jetstar, for domestic and international flights. ‘The additional aircraft will better enable Qantas and Jetstar to take advantage of growth opportunities for point-to point flights in the Asia-Pacific region and to new international destinations in Europe, India and the Americas.’

Qantas previously ordered 45 B787s, with 20 options and 50 purchase rights in December 2005. According to Dixon, this enabled Qantas to lock in competitive pricing and secure delivery slots for what has proved to be a much sought after aircraft.

The Qantas Group will take delivery of its first B787-8 aircraft in July 2008, with the first 15 aircraft being used by Jetstar, accelerating the growth of its international operations. Subsequent deliveries will be allocated between Qantas and Jetstar on the basis of the best returns for the group.

Dixon said that from 2011 the group would begin to take delivery of the B787-9 aircraft, a stretched version of the B787-8, which would have greater passenger capacity and greater range. Boeing and Qantas will finalise the increased order over the next month.