Wow Boeing – it really does suck to be you this week. After a dismal Paris Air Show and the announcement of the sixth delay in taking the first 787 Dreamliner for a test flight, Qantas just canceled their order of 15 Dreamliners.
In Boeing’s defense, Qantas recently pulled the same stunt with Airbus with some of their orders for the A380.
The change in their order cancels 15 planes and puts another 15 on a delayed delivery schedule, moved back to 2015, which will be 10 years after they placed the order.
I’m obviously not completely up to date on how aircraft orders work, but I’m quite surprised an airline can just pick up the phone and tell their vendor that they won’t be needing that $3 Billion delivery after all.
The change is of course blamed on “turbulent market conditions”, but I’m willing to bet Boeing now really regrets the delays in getting the Dreamliner ready for the market. By the time the plane is finally finished, we’ll have either reached a total financial apocalypse, or everything will be back to normal.
Of course, losing 15 planes still means Boeing has 851 firm orders for the 787, so while I’m sure they were not too thrilled with the phone call from Qantas, the plane itself is still a huge success.