Qantas Cancels Dreamliner Order

Worrisome news for Australia's travel scene from CNN today: Qantas has reportedly scrapped an $8.5 billion order for Boeing 787 Dreamliners for its troubled international arm after the group reported its first loss since it was privatized almost two decades ago.

The Australian flag carrier posted a loss before tax of $349 million for the year to June, down from a profit of $323 million a year earlier, under the pressure of costs from last year's industrial dispute, impairment costs and high fuel prices.

Citing the uncertain global outlook and "lower growth" requirements, Qantas said on Thursday that it had it canceled firm commitments for 35 state-of-the-art B787-9 aircraft and pushed back the delivery date for a further 50 Dreamliners, which have suffered repeated production setbacks, to 2016 from 2014.

Qantas said it was unable to provide earnings guidance for the new financial year because of the "high degree of volatility and uncertainty in global economic conditions," fuel prices and exchange rates.

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