said it has reached agreement with


(BA) - Get Report

to cancel 15 orders for the 787 and to defer 15 more.

The changes are not related to this week's announcement of another delay in the program, said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, in a prepared statement.

"Qantas announced its original B787 order in December 2005, and the operating environment for the world's airlines has clearly changed dramatically since then," Joyce said. "The agreement we have reached with Boeing will provide greater certainty going forward in terms of our fleet renewal and growth strategies."

In late morning trading, Boeing shares were down 41 cents to $42.12. Shares in Boeing, a


component, are down about 11% for the week.

Joyce said the cancellation of 15 orders would reduce Qantas capital expenditures $3 billion at list price. Qantas will defer delivery of 15 B787-8 aircraft by four years and cancel orders for fifteen B787-9s scheduled for delivery in 2014/2015.

The changes will see Qantas Group firm 787 orders decline from 65 to 50. Its first 15 aircraft, for Jetstar's international operations, will be delivered starting in mid-2013, about three years later than planned.

Starting late in 2014, Qantas will take 15 aircraft for domestic operations. Remaining deliveries of 20 aircraft, to be divided between both operating units, will take place between 2015 and 2017.

"Boeing and Qantas have worked together to make changes that are appropriate for the current climate," said Boeing spokeswoman Liz Verdier. Even with the reduction, the Qantas Group (Qantas Airways and Jetstar) jointly remains the biggest airline customer for 787 family aircraft.