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Australia's Qantas says Dreamliner order to go ahead

AFP  Sydney, January 16, 2013
First Published: 10:32 IST(16/1/2013) | Last Updated: 10:33 IST(16/1/2013)

Australian airline Qantas said on Wednesday there were no changes to its order of 15 Dreamliner aircraft for its low-cost carrier Jetstar after Japan's two biggest airlines grounded the Boeing models.


"There are no changes to our order. It's still going ahead," a Qantas spokeswoman told AFP."

Qantas reduced its order of 50 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner jets to 15 in August 2012 to cut costs after announcing its first annual loss since privatisation in 1995 due to high fuel costs and industrial action.

The delivery of the first of the 15 787s to Jetstar will enable the transfer of Airbus A330 aircraft from Jetstar to Qantas' domestic service and the eventual retirement of Qantas' Boeing 767 fleet.

The 787 Dreamliner has suffered more than a week of bad news that has prompted investigations by aviation regulators in the United States, Japan and India although Boeing insists the plane is safe.

All Nippon Airways -- the world's first carrier to receive the Dreamliner from Boeing after years of delays -- said a battery problem triggered a cockpit error message that forced the pilots into an emergency landing Wednesday.

Both ANA and its rival Japan Airlines (JAL) -- which are among Boeing's biggest customers for the Dreamliner -- said they would ground their entire 787 fleets pending safety checks.

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