DALLAS — Qantas Airways (QF) has announced today another ramping up of its intercontinental capacity on flights originating from its main hub at Sydney International Airport (SYD).
The Australian airline, which is going through a significant fleet recovery process after the COVID-19 pandemic, aims to increase the flight offer with 250.000 additional seats on a total of five routes to Asia, Africa, and North America.
Qantas CEO Cam Wallace said that the capacity increase would help to support the sustained demand for international travel and provide a boost to the tourism industry: “Hundreds of thousands of extra seats on our network is great news for our customers planning their next overseas trip.”
Qantas has also revealed that it will serve Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) with its new Airbus A380 service from Sydney starting in July 2024. The addition of the aircraft type will enable QF to nearly double its current capacity. This is the first time the carrier has introduced its A380s on the route.
More Frequencies, Larger Aircraft
In terms of increasing capacity, an airline may either add more frequencies to a certain route or schedule larger aircraft on the flights, therefore offering more seats. In this case, Qantas has opted to include a mixed approach, including both options in this network expansion operation.
From Sydney Airport, the airline will increase from eight to nine flights per week on its current connection to Los Angeles (LAX), in a dual service operated by Boeing 787s and Airbus A380s. Additionally, flights to New York (JFK) via Auckland (AKL) will now be operated four times a week, following the route’s commercial success.
On the other hand, Qantas will upgrade the Sydney to Bali (DPS) route by replacing its Boeing 737s with Airbus A330s, therefore adding more Premium Economy and Business Class seats to the route.
Finally, moving to secondary bases in Australia, Qantas Airways will perform another capacity increase on the Melbourne (MEL) to Los Angeles (LAX) service, adding more A380 flights, resulting in a 20% rise in terms of capacity.
‘YES’, Qantas Recuperates Pre-Pandemic Fleet
The national carrier of Australia is one step closer to finalizing the full return to service of its pre-pandemic fleet. At the moment of writing, Qantas only has six widebody aircraft left to enter service, either due to long-term storage or maintenance stops, out of its total fleet of 75 units: three A330s and three A380s.
Last month, QF took delivery of its final Dreamliner, registered as VH-ZNN, and is now fully operating 14 airframes across its main hubs in the country. The Boeing 787, as well as the upcoming Airbus A350-1000, are crucial aircraft for the development of “Project Sunrise“, expected to connect Europe and the US East Coast with Sydney as soon as 2025.
During the 2023 edition of the Paris Air Show, the airline did order additional aircraft for its future strategy, including nine Airbus A220-300s which will serve as a replacement for the oldest regional airframes in the fleet.
On August 14, 2023, Qantas Airways unveiled a new special scheme on Boeing 737 and Dash 8 airplanes in support of the “YES23” campaign ahead of the upcoming referendum for indigenous voices in the national parliament.
Featured image: Christian Winter/Airways