Qantas Unveils Short Haul Fleet Plan for the Next Decade
Melbourne, 14 November 2007
Qantas today announced that it would acquire up to 188 narrow body aircraft to support the further growth of its two brands, Qantas and Jetstar, in Australia and Asia.
The aircraft will be used to defend a minimum 65 percent Group share of the Australian domestic market and to expand low cost services to South East Asia.
The plan will involve Jetstar opening new regional aviation bases in both Darwin and Perth over the next two years to serve fast growing Asian markets.
Qantas Chief Executive Mr Geoff Dixon said the aircraft would be principally B737-800s, which were Qantas' main narrowbody aircraft, and A320s, which were the core aircraft in Jetstar's short haul fleet.
"The order also includes larger A321 aircraft, which will have up to 213 seats compared with 177 on an A320 in a Jetstar single-class configuration," he said.
"The first aircraft to arrive in February next year will be an A321 and we expect to take at least 17 of those aircraft to expand Jetstar's opportunities in its fastest growing markets."
The Group will acquire:
- 68 A320/A321 aircraft, plus 40 options and purchase rights; and
- 31 B737-800 aircraft and 49 options and purchase rights.
The firm aircraft will be delivered over a six year period, while options secured additional delivery slots through to 2017.
Mr Dixon said that the Group had the ability to fund the aircraft without affecting its investment grade credit rating.
"This decision, together with existing A380 and B787 fleet commitments, secures an order stream for next generation aircraft that will allow the Group to meet long term demand growth and replace older aircraft over the next decade," Mr Dixon said.
"The plan provides maximum flexibility to respond to changes in the market and competitive situation.
"In an environment where our customers have more options than ever before, this investment will ensure that Qantas and Jetstar continue to provide customers with superior network reach, choice and product."
Mr Dixon said the B737-800s would all have the latest inflight entertainment technology and would be delivered from early 2009.
"This further investment in the latest aircraft technology will also underpin our efficiency drive by lowering operating costs, while at the same time minimising the Group's environmental impact as we grow," he said.
"The B737-800 has a 25 percent lower fuel burn per seat and 30 percent lower maintenance cost compared with older equivalent aircraft.
"The engines for the new aircraft will have improved technology that exceeds all current environmental regulatory standards in relation to both emissions and noise."
Mr Dixon said the A321 aircraft offered superior seat-kilometre costs and would deliver a further benefit in operational costs for Jetstar.
He said some of the Airbus aircraft would also be used to supply capacity to the Group's Asian associates.
The order comes as Qantas is preparing to receive its first A380, the flagship of the premium fleet, in August 2008, while Jetstar will subsequently launch the B787 Dreamliner to underpin the expansion of its low cost international services.
"We are confident that the orders we have placed provide the right aircraft, with the right product and right economics to ensure the continued success of Qantas and Jetstar both domestically and internationally," Mr Dixon said.
Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3687)