QantasLink to Commence Q400 Services between Canberra and Sydney and Open New Crew Base

Canberra, 07 September 2006

Qantas said today that it would increase its Canberra capacity by more than 11 per cent by 29 October, with two new 72-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft set to operate between Sydney and Canberra.

The Executive General Manager of Qantas, Mr John Borghetti, said the first of the new aircraft to be dedicated to the Sydney-Canberra route would commence operations this Sunday, 10 September.

"Qantas will operate more than 320 services a week between Sydney and Canberra under the new schedule, including B737 Qantas services and QantasLink Dash 8 and Q400 services.

"The two new Q400s will operate 144 flights a week, replacing some 50 and 36-seat Dash-8 services and boosting seat numbers by more than 2,500."

Mr Borghetti said QantasLink would open its new Canberra pilot and cabin crew base on Sunday in time for the first Q400 service.

"Seventeen pilots and 16 cabin crew will be based in Canberra," Mr Borghetti said.

"This base and the upgrade of QantasLink services are a clear indication of the Qantas Group's strong commitment to the ACT."

Mr Borghetti said QantasLink had commenced Q400 services between Canberra and Brisbane in April 2006.

"We have invested $200 million in seven of these new aircraft and are the first airline in the Southern Hemisphere to operate the Q400.

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

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (Q3478)