Qantas has not cancelled any 787 options and has simply let one lapse to be picked up later.
A spokesman for the airline has clarified to AirlineRatings.com that the airline is fully committed to the 787 after one remark by its chief executive Alan Joyce at the Singapore Airshow was taken somewhat out of context.
The spokesman said that the timing of the option wasn’t right for the airline but all its positions for next year’s proposed deliveries of four more “are protected.”
These four that would take the airline’s fleet to 12 would be delivered in the first half of FY20.
“The option that has lapsed will be picked up later,” he said.
The spokesman also reaffirmed that the airline was moving ahead with its project Sunrise to buy the Airbus A350-900ULR or the Boeing 777-8 to perform the Sydney to London and Sydney to New York non-stop routes.
However, before the airline issues its formal RFP both manufacturers have to prove their respective designs can meet the mission.
The A350-900ULR is yet to fly and the 777X engine is yet to fly on GE’s test bed 747.
Singapore Airlines is the launch customer for the A350-900ULR and the aircraft has a stated range of up to 9,700 nm (17,960 km).
Singapore Airlines purchased seven for non-stop flights from Singapore to New York and cities on the U.S. West Coast.
Seating, however, is 170 compared to the normal 300 seats in a Singapore Airlines standard configuration.
The first aircraft is expected to be delivered later this year.
The Boeing 777-9X is now entering production and is expected to fly later this year and be delivered late in 2019 to Emirates.
The longer-range variant the -8X will not enter service till 2022.
The order from Qantas is expected to be one of the major sales battles over the next 18 months.
Separately Emirates Engineering has announced an agreement with Qantas for A380 aircraft maintenance.
Under the terms of the agreement, Emirates Engineering will strip and repaint eight Qantas A380 aircraft starting March 2018.
The aircraft will be repainted with the latest Qantas livery at Emirates Aircraft Appearance Centre in Dubai.
The agreement also covers the replacement of landing gears for one Qantas A380 aircraft by Emirates Engineering in February 2018.
Previously Qantas was getting Lufthansa Technik to do A380 work as the airline’s fleet of 12 is too small to make the engineering investment.