Qantas plans for potential 787 delay
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SYDNEY, Feb 21 AAP
February 21 2013, 1:06PM
Qantas Airways is planning for any potential delays to the delivery of Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the airline was working with Boeing on what any fix to the battery issues that has grounded all 787s worldwide would mean for its firm order of 14 Dreamliners.
"We haven't had any formal notice from Boeing that there is going to be any change to our delivery schedule, but we are planning contingencies if that schedule is pushed out," Mr Joyce said during Qantas's first half results presentation in Sydney on Thursday.
"We do believe we have flexibility, we have shown the flexibility in the past, to be able to cope with further delays if they are to occur.
"We are in constant dialogue with Boeing and I have to say Boeing are being very open and transparent and are communicating on a daily basis with our team."
The airline was due to pick up its first Dreamliner - to be flown by Qantas' low-cost offshoot Jetstar - during the second half of calendar 2013.
Aviation authorities in the United States, Japan and elsewhere have grounded all 787 Dreamliners after a series of battery problems in January.
The US Federal Aviation Administration has also opened a comprehensive review into the 787's critical systems, including design, manufacture and assembly.
Mr Joyce said Qantas had full confidence in the aircraft.
"We believe the aircraft is going to be a great aircraft, it is going to produce very good operating performance, it has got a great customer proposition associated with it," Mr Joyce said.
Meanwhile, Qantas said it would upgrade its fleet of 30 Airbus A330 aircraft used on international flights to Asia, and on domestic routes between Australia's east coast capitals and Perth.
The changes, which include lie-flat business class seats and "refreshed" economy cabins, "leapfrogs anything our competitor is doing", Mr Joyce said.