View Full Version : QANTAS Announces Aircraft Purchase!

18th Oct 2001, 11:26
From the BBC:

Australian flag carrier Qantas will buy 17 new aircraft for A$1.5bn ($750m) to revamp of its domestic operations, in one of the only new aircraft orders since the 11 September attacks.

The new aircraft will give Qantas up to 70% of the capacity in the Australian domestic market following the collapse of rival Ansett.

"The domestic market has changed fundamentally and irrevocably over the past year and our new strategy will enable us to meet the increasing customer focus on flexibility," said Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon.

Qantas also confirmed plans to modernise its existing fleet were on track and that British Airways, a 25% stakeholder in the Qantas, was keen to hold onto its shares.

New planes

The airline will buy 15 new, long range, narrow body aircraft, either Boeing 737-800s or Airbus A320s, and two Dash 8 aircraft.

Mr Dixon said the outcome of talks with Airbus and Boeing would announced next week.

Qantas has about 85% of the domestic market after the federal government asked it to pick up Ansett routes.

Qantas also said it was on schedule for $4.6bn fleet upgrade, despite the acquisition of 17 new planes.

"It is exactly the same as it was before, the first aircraft will be coming in November of next year and it's on track and it has not changed," said Mr Dixon.

Financial results

Chairman Margaret Jackson said the airline expects to deliver a pre-tax profit for the current financial year later on Thursday but she warned it was difficult to make a forecast for the current financial year.

"The significant recent events which have occurred both in Australia and overseas make it difficult to forecast profitability for the current year," she said.

"The Australian dollar's weakness may not improve and Australian dollar fuel prices may remain at near historical highs," she added.

Chief executive officer Geoff Dixon said he had spoken to BA chief executive Rod Eddington on Wednesday night, who had: "expressed his desire to be able to keep his Qantas shares but these are very volatile times".

Speculation has mounted that BA was looking to sell its A$1bn ($510m) stake in Qantas amid the current downturn in the global aviation market.

Qantas shares last traded on Wednesday at A$3.24 but were placed in a trading halt on Thursday ahead of a A$300m equity raising to partly fund the new aircraft purchases.