Qantas to Increase Capacity to Canberra and Establish Local Crew Base

Sydney, 03 May 2006

The Qantas Group announced today that it would increase capacity between Canberra and Sydney by more than 12 per cent, as its sixth and seventh QantasLink Bombardier Q400 aircraft enter into service over the coming months.

Qantas Executive General Manager, Mr John Borghetti, said the arrival of the aircraft would also see QantasLink open a new crew base in Canberra.

"The new 72-seat Bombardier Q400, which is both larger and faster than the 50-seat Dash 8 aircraft we currently operate between Canberra and Sydney, will enable the Qantas Group to provide more than 140,000 additional seats per annum on the route."

"In providing this extra capacity, particularly during peak demand periods, Qantas will maintain the convenience of a high frequency schedule of up to 25 services per day on this important Cityflyer route", Mr Borghetti said.

"The decision to operate the Q400 on the route will also lead to the creation of more than 30 jobs in Canberra, as we establish a pilot and cabin crew base in the city."

Mr Borghetti said that Qantas was the first airline in the southern hemisphere to offer customers the Bombardier Q400.

"We have invested $200 million in our regional airline operations with the acquisition of seven Q400 aircraft. The first Q400 aircraft entered service on Queensland regional routes in February this year.

"With its new engine and propeller systems, the Q400 offers jet-like speeds as well as increased passenger comfort in the cabin.

"The Q400 aircraft has been operating a daily direct service between Brisbane and Canberra since April 2006. This service complements Qantas' existing B737 flights and added more than 50,000 extra seats per annum on the route," Mr Borghetti said.

The new Q400 aircraft are scheduled to commence flying between Canberra and Sydney in mid-August and mid-October 2006.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (Q3427)