QANTAS boss Alan Joyce has cited an "uncertain global context" as the reason for the airlines' decision to surprisingly cancel a $US8.5 billion ($F15.2 billion) new investment in 35 new airliners.
While announcing a larger than expected loss for the carrier in Sydney yesterday morning, Mr Joyce blamed "record" high fuel bills and transformation costs as factors influencing the airline's statutory loss after tax of $458.3 million.
Morningstar analysts had expected a statutory loss of $372 million after restructuring costs of between $695 million and $714 million.
"Clearly we have been through an exceptional period," Mr Joyce said.
The loss for the 12 months to June 30, 2012, compares with a net profit of $469.9 million in the previous year.
The result was at the upper end the airline's expectations of between $94 million and $188 million.
Mr Joyce said the cancellation of an order for 35 new Boeing 787s was due to "lower growth requirements in this uncertain global context".
"With lower capital requirements and substantial liquidity, we are now turning our attention toward debt reduction to strengthen the balance sheet," Mr Joyce said in a statement.
Fuel costs rose 18 per cent to a record $8.14 billion, Qantas said.
Qantas says it will cancel its firm order for 35 Boeing 787-9 aircraft, representing a $15.1 billion reduction in capital expenditure at list prices.