Qantas has announced plans to expand its domestic fleet, with the lease of five more Boeing 717 aircraft and the purchase of three Bombardier Q400s.
The new aircraft are due to be delivered from the second half of 2013.
“This expansion to our fleet of 125-seat Boeing 717s and 74-seat Q400s gives us flexibility to pursue growth opportunities in a range of short-haul markets,” said Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce. “It is a sensible investment in a part of the Qantas Group that is delivering strong returns.”
Qantas also revealed a change to its international fleet development plan, with the cancellation of a single B787-8 Dreamliner, which had been ordered for Jetstar. This cuts Jetstar’s total order down from 15 to 14 B787-8s, with the first aircraft expected to arrive later this year. Following the deliveries, all 11 Jetstar Airbus A330s will be transferred to Qantas Domestic, replacing the existing Qantas B767 fleet, which will be retired.
“While the plan is for Jetstar’s long-haul network to keep expanding we are using the flexibility in our agreement with Boeing to cancel a firm order knowing that we can replace it with one of our 50 options for this aircraft down the track, and with a full view of what market conditions are like at the time,” Joyce added.
He also said that Qantas remained “firmly committed” to the Dreamliner for both Qantas and Jetstar, despite recent setbacks with the aircraft.