* Qantas has 15 options over Boeing 787-9 jets
* Airline trying to balance growth, capital returns
* Budget arm Jetstar could take Airbus A321neos (Adds quote and comment from CEO, AIRSHOW tag in headline)
SINGAPORE, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd will let one of its 15 options over Boeing Co 787-9 Dreamliner jets lapse in February and will make a decision on some others in a “few more months”, its chief executive said on Monday.
The airline is looking to expand international flying but wants to be judicious about capital spending as it boosts returns to investors as part of a successful turnaround programme.
CEO Alan Joyce said the airline was examining whether to take more 787s than the eight already ordered. At the same time it was considering a business case for its budget arm Jetstar to take Airbus’ A321neos, he said.
“We balance up what are the relative business cases between Jetstar, between Qantas International, Qantas Domestic and Loyalty and figure out given our limited resource of capital what is the best business case to invest the capital in,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference ahead of the Singapore Airshow.
Jetstar has 99 A320neo family jets on order. Joyce said the airline was considering whether to take some of the larger A321neo variant, which have a longer range than the older A320s they would be replacing.
That would allow Jetstar to switch flights like Sydney-Bali to A321neos, freeing up its 787-8s for other destinations in the region. (Reporting by Jamie Freed; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)