I think they will. The pricing on those optional birds would be the same as the rest of the firm orders so they would be getting a really good deal compared to today’s going prices for the same units.
The key bit of absent info is the date when those options start expiring, as that would be the looming deadline to watch for an announcement.
As you say, right now the focus from management is to reduce long term debt so ordering these now would muddy that message to investors. Timing of such an announcement would be key.
On a side note, it’s pretty great to see that excess cash will be used to buy many of the new planes coming in this year and next! Quite the turnaround from a few years ago when AC owned next to nil aircraft free and clear.
Yeah definitely we are in good shape. And I was thinking the exact thing. The deal on those dreamliners is too good to pass up. Even if they just sold and leased them back. But yeah I'm hoping for more widebody and long haul expansion.
Quite frankly as crew we pretty much dislike the max. We are happy to offer customers a newer plane as the 320 fleet is feeling old. But we in general would have much preferred the neo.
I would have easily seen a fleet comprising: 777, 787, 330, 321neolr and cs300. That would have been my dream team. But alas I'm no where near decision makers haha.
I think the whole point of the A333 addition is to cover some expansion and get the ball rolling before committing to another large new widebody order. They have to decide if they want to add to the 787 fleet and wait for the eventual 777 replacement, or go to something like A350-1000 and use them to replace the A333s and 777s eventually. That is the luxury of adding A330s now, they have just bought a few more years to deice, all the while getting a really solid airplane to help them expand in the interim. QF has been able to renegotiate expires on options as it would seem from the thread on here with regards to their 787 order, I'm sure Boeing realised that they stand to gain another huge order if they cut AC some slack and give them more time.
In terms of narrow bodies, they don't really have the A321s replacement allocated for as of yet, so there still could be an Airbus product ordered for the narrow body fleet yet. A321neoLR would be great for them, with an international configuration, they could effectively replace the 767 on YOW-LHR/FRA, YHZ-LHR and YYZ-LAX/SFO, along with growth on thinner routes.