The group is seeing increased domestic demand for flights across its network with the airline predicting that passenger capacity will climb to 90% of pre-Covid levels during the April-June quarter
Qantas has expanded its three-year deal with Alliance Airlines to provide additional capacity to its regional arm QantasLink, using Embraer E190 jets. The agreement will see the carrier increase its options to 18 aircraft with three already flying and another five to enter service by October.
The aircraft will be painted in the QantasLink livery and, according to the airline, are part of a plan to grow its domestic capacity to at least 107% of pre-Covid levels in FY22.
The E190 jet’s five-hour range makes it well suited to linking regional centres with smaller capital cities and the addition of these aircraft will free up Qantas’ fleet of Boeing 737s to be redeployed across the domestic network, enabling the airline to open new routes and add capacity.
In another area of the group, Jetstar will receive three Airbus A320s from its sister airline, Jetstar Asia on a temporary redeployment while international travel in Asia faces a slower recovery. These aircraft join the six A320s on loan from Jetstar Japan and five Boeing 787-8s operating domestically until international travel resumes.
On the announcements, Alan Joyce, Qantas Group CEO, commented: “Since travel demand started to recover about a year ago, our strategy has been to think creatively about how we use our fleet to add capacity back in, generate revenue and get more of our people back to work. That’s why we now have 787s flying domestically and A320s on loan from Jetstar airlines in Asia.”
Joyce added: “Expanding our long-standing relationship with Alliance gives us access to a different aircraft type without spending any capital. The E190 is perfect for connecting capital cities and regional centres. Its size, range and economics have already let us start seven new routes that wouldn’t have worked with our existing fleet.