Australia’s struggling Qantas Airways has cancelled orders for 35 Boeing Dreamliner jets in a bid to slash costs after posting a full-year net loss for the first time in 17 years.

Qantas shares jumped to their highest in more than two months as investors welcomed cost-saving moves.

The past year has been gruelling for the company with a record fuel bill up 18 percent from last year, rising competition and a labour union opposed to spending cuts.

CEO Alan Joyce said recovery will not be easy.


“There’s no silver bullet, there’s no easy fix, there’s no exit here that’s going to solve it. It’s going to be a lot of hard work, a lot of initiatives like the initiatives that we’ve made to get that business back to profit.”

Unions opposed to the cost-cutting efforts — including job cuts and the elimination of routes — led to disputes that grounded the airline’s entire fleet for almost two days last year.

The cancellation comes as a major blow for Seattle-based Boeing since the order was worth an estimated $8.5 billion dollars.

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