Embraer E190. Photo: Embraer

MIAMI – Qantas (QF), in response to growing domestic leisure and business travel demand, will be activating a further five E190s for its domestic operations. 

As QF waits until the international travel market recovers, the extra capacity will allow for the airline to expand its domestic offerings. 

The aircraft will be sourced from a deal between QF and Alliance Air (9I), which allows for the latter to provide QantasLink with up to 14 aircraft. 

The E190s, recently acquired by 9I, are fitted with 94 seats and will be painted in the QantasLink livery for the duration of its tenure with the Qantas Group.

QantasLink, the domestic subsidiary of the Qantas Group, connects travellers throughout Australia with a wide variety of aircraft. 

However, Embraer E190s will be a new addition to the airline’s fleet, providing slightly less capacity than QF’s Boeing 717s and Airbus A320s. 

The new aircraft will also give the airline flexibility to deploy its larger Boeing 737s on different routes, as part of the airlines ‘right aircraft, right route’ response to ever-changing market conditions. 

Initially, the E190s will be deployed between Adelaide, Alice Springs and Darwin, with their base in Adelaide and Darwin. 

The three E190s based in Adelaide and Darwin are part of a three year contract with Alliance Air. 

QF expects the new aircraft and routes to secure approximately 200 new jobs in Adelaide. 

Photo: Noah Pitkin/Airways

Updated Route Network

Beginning June 25, QF will offer four weekly services between Gold Coast and Adelaide, which will increase during holidays. 

The E190s will also be deployed between Darwin and Canberra starting June 21. 

Additionally, services between Adelaide and Mt. Gambier will more than double from five to 12 flights per week. 

In total, the E190s will provide QF with an additional 1 million seats of capacity. The new aircraft will allow for the airline to offer more services than possible with larger aircraft.

Photo: Aidan Pullino/Airways

Executive’s Comments

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said, “The E190 is a great aircraft for the Adelaide market, with its size, range and economics opening up a number of new destinations that wouldn’t be viable with the larger 737 aircraft,”

He continued, “We’re continuing to see really positive signs of sustained recovery, with strong travel demand and forward bookings expected to see our domestic capacity back above 100 per cent of pre-COVID levels in the coming months.”

Alliance Airlines Managing Director Scott McMillian said, “The increase in our wet lease operations for Qantas will grow our existing Adelaide base and provide additional employment opportunities for new and existing South Australian staff.”