Qantas seeks compensation over Dreamliners

Qantas says a delay in the delivery of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes won't affect earnings or strategy, but it will be seeking compensation.

The carrier said the first Dreamliner plane would not be delivered to its Jetstar low-cost subsidiary before May 2009, and it was now looking at contingency plans including revised retirement dates for other aircraft and possible schedule adjustments.

Boeing said yesterday it would push back first test flight and deliveries of the Dreamliner by about three months, as it struggles with outsourced production of the new, carbon-fibre plane.

The delay is the second serious setback in three months, after the planemaker announced a six-month delay in October.

It also comes only a month after Boeing's commercial aircraft chief assured Wall St that the plane was on track to meet its revised schedule.

Qantas said its contract with Boeing allowed for claims for damages and it would discuss the issue with Boeing in the coming weeks.

Qantas has firm orders for 65 Dreamliners, with options for 20 more and purchase rights for a further 30, as the airline and Jetstar seek to expand on routes in the Asia-Pacific region.

The first 15 planes are scheduled to be used on Jetstar's fast-growing international operations.

- Reuters

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