CEO Alan Joyce, at the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit, said (04-Aug-2015) the Boeing 787-9 “is a great replacement aircraft for some of the 747s over time.” Mr Joyce noted the carrier evaluated the A350 but: “We found in our minds the 787-9 is a better aircraft for us in the markets and network we’re talking about.” Mr Joyce said the recent agreements with pilots to operate the 787-9 “was a major step in the right direction” but noted: “We’re working through the fleet economics, the route economics to see if we can justify the 787s... We’re working through that process now.”
The Qantas Slope towards its 787-9 order announcement has steepened with this above corporate mention. Alan Joyce is almost falling over himself trying to keep 787-9 Boeing order a secret, when it has become eminent that Qantas will pull the plug on an order announcement.
The order book dreaming can start again. At the end of the Third Qantas quarter, 2015, I would expect its Ducks would be in a row for ordering a plethora 787’s during October 2015. It is on the books for 50 options. That number could change in a confirmation order. The two points hanging are what Qantas dreams about and what is the least we can do when being overly cautious. More than 50 is dreaming and less than 25 is overly cautious.
The question now remains, if fleet expansion is in the works beyond its 2009 goals. Given that the 747 are going into retirement and the A330’s will be phased out of the fleet when 787-9 deliveries commence. But what about Qantas’ Fleet Vision tied to its Market goals? How much is Qantas going to attack the region, or in reality half the World with the 787-9’s?
Many questions have been answered behind closed doors for Qantas, but a confirmed order announcement will tell the rest of the story for the airline.
· A 25. 787-9 order suggest a cautious status quo with no competitive expansion in the near future.
· A 50, 787-9 order matching its option quantity is a middle of the road order living up to its original vision of renewing the fleet in total.
· Greater than 50 is a rewrite of its original vision as it sees itself as a real competitor for the region.
Winging It considers a Qantas 50 with a new options added for both the 787-10 and 787-9 on the books as flexing its wings for future intentions. Qantas does not seek a status quo conditions as its regional competitors no long consider Qantas a real threat to its own expansions. Singapore, Etihad and China see the emergence of the 787 family, a game changer opening up new markets longer away from home base. Australia and New Zealand are in the cross hairs for expansion from Japan as well. Qantas is forced to react or die as a competitor.
The announcement quoted from CAPA is an emergency flare gunshot signaling Qantas ready to take on the region and save its stake in the “Airplane Wars”. It has its ducks in a row. Cross the T’s dot the I’s let’s go Boeing is the above quote.