Qantas Launches Freight Business

Sydney, 16 August 2006

Qantas today announced the formation of a new wholly owned subsidiary domestic air freight business, Express Freighters Australia, to commence operations from October 2006.

The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Mr Geoff Dixon, said Express Freighters Australia would wet lease B737-300 freighter aircraft to Australian air Express (AaE) under a 12-year contract.

"This is a new and exciting business that is about growth for the Qantas Group," Mr Dixon said.

"Express Freighters Australia will not only provide increased revenue, but also new employment for pilots and additional work volumes for Qantas engineers.

"We will commence operations in October with one aircraft and four pilots, growing to four aircraft and up to 40 pilots by March 2007."

Mr Dixon said Qantas Engineering had been contracted to carry out the conversion of the B737-300 aircraft for the new business at its Avalon base, as well as provide through-life maintenance support for the aircraft.

He said Express Freighters Australia had already employed pilots under Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) for the start up of the new business.

"The pilots' AWAs have pay rates and conditions in line with industry standards for freighter pilots," he said.

"Growing our freight operations is a core strategy for the Qantas Group, aimed at diversifying and strengthening our revenue base," Mr Dixon said.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (Q3461)