Qantas forks out for regional fleet upgrade with planes more than 30pc faster than older aircraft

Simone Grogan
The Nightly
The turboprops carry more than 3.5 million people to more than 50 regional destinations a year.
The turboprops carry more than 3.5 million people to more than 50 regional destinations a year. Credit: Qantas/Kalgoorlie Miner

The national carrier will buy 14 mid-life Dash 8-400 aircraft and phase out 19 smaller, ageing turboprop aircraft in a bid to refresh its QantasLink regional services and as part of a broader fleet renewal program.

Costs of the new planes will be covered under the national carrier’s $3.7 billion to $3.9 billion capital expenditure over the next two years, with the majority to be outlayed in the 2025 fiscal year.

Qantas chief executive Vanessa Hudson said the fleet renewal program was part of the airline’s “ongoing commitment to serve regional Australia” and would provide “certainty” as it works with aircraft manufacturers on electric or battery powered aircraft.

Sign up to The Nightly's newsletters.

Get the first look at the digital newspaper, curated daily stories and breaking headlines delivered to your inbox.

Email Us
By continuing you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

“By consolidating our turboprops into a single fleet type, we’ll be able to further improve our reliability and provide a better recovery for our customers during disruptions as well as reducing complexity and cost for our operation,” she said.

The turboprops carry more than 3.5 million people to more than 50 regional destinations a year.

“These next-generation aircraft allow us to improve the travel experience with a faster and more comfortable experience.”

According to Qantas the Q400 aircraft will be more than 30 per cent faster, and more reliable than the Q200 and Q300 they are replacing. The purchases will lift the number of Q400s in Qantas’ fleet from 31 to 45.

The aircraft have 78 seats compared with 50 and 36 seats in the older Q300 and Q200 models respectively, and will be on average 10 years younger than the aircraft being replaced.

Turboprops operate on regional routes mostly on the East Coast, Tasmania and South Australia.

At the end of May Qantas and Perth Airport struck a record $3 billion deal over a new terminal for the airline, resolving a long-running dispute said to have held back the development of Perth as Australia’s “western gateway”.

The agreement will see Australia’s biggest carrier and its Jetstar discount subsidiary relocate to new facilities at the Airport Central precinct at Terminal 1 on the opposite side of the runway and be supported by billions of dollars in investment by the airport.

Qantas and Jetstar have committed to add 4.4 million seats a year to and from Perth by the time the new terminal opens in 2031, lifting their combined WA workforce by about 700.

Latest Edition

The front page of The Nightly for 12-07-2024

Latest Edition

Edition Edition 12 July 202412 July 2024

Bumbling Biden has Americans hitting the panic button.