Qantas to Base Boeing 717 Operations in Hobart

Sydney, 03 April 2002

Qantas today announced that it would add six Boeing 717 aircraft to its fleet over the next three months and establish a base for Boeing 717 operations in Hobart.

Chief Executive Officer Geoff Dixon said Qantas would take delivery in May and June of six Boeing 717 aircraft configured in two classes.

Mr Dixon said the additional six Boeing 717 aircraft would create more than 150 jobs within QantasLink for pilots, flight attendants, engineers and operational staff. Up to 80 pilots and flight attendants would be based in Hobart.

"QantasLink will also introduce new non-stop weekend services between Hobart and Coolangatta, using Boeing 717 aircraft.

"QantasLink has a proven record of service to Tasmania, with more than 175 return services each week to Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie," he said.

"There are more than 95 Boeing 717 services each week between Hobart and Sydney and Melbourne. Establishment of an operational base in Hobart will complement our base facilities in Melbourne and Sydney and highlights our ongoing commitment to Tasmania."

QantasLink recently announced it would operate an additional 13 Dash 8 services each week between Melbourne and Devonport and would increase services between Melbourne and Burnie by seven return services a week.

"Since December QantasLink has acquired an additional five Dash 8 aircraft, boosting capacity to regional destinations in Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory," Mr Dixon said.

"QantasLink is a substantial operation throughout regional Australia and it is continuing to grow and support industry and tourism in regional areas.

"The new Boeing 717 aircraft will complement the existing fleet of eight Boeing 717s and will take the QantasLink total fleet to 76 aircraft, operating more than 2500 flights each week and providing employment for more than 2000 people."

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (2676)