Qantas scraps plane order as it posts an annual loss

Marion Dakers
AUSTRALIAN airline Qantas has scrapped an order for 35 new Dreamliner planes as it fights to control costs following a A$244m (£160.9m) annual loss.

Qantas yesterday posted its first loss since it was privatised 17 years ago, blaming an 18 per cent jump in fuel costs and strike action linked to its ongoing spending cuts.

As a result, the firm has cancelled its $8.5bn order for Boeing’s new Dreamliners.

Qantas’ short-haul and freight operations were profitable in the year to 30 June, but a A$450m loss on its international routes and A$398m in restructuring costs hammered its bottom line.

Chief executive Alan Joyce declined to give any guidance for earnings in the current year, but said the airline remained committed to reaching break-even in its international business in 2015.

“There’s no silver bullet, there’s no easy fix, there’s no exit here that’s going to solve it,” Joyce told reporters yesterday.

“But we are committed to it,” he added.

The firm said that its outlook remains “challenging, volatile and dependent on a number of uncontrollable external factors”.