Qantas Ramps up International Capacity

Qantas Ramps up International Capacity

DALLASQantas (AF) has revealed that it aims to return to full capacity by March 2024. In a statement released today, Friday, May 19, 2023, the Australian flag carrier said it would be boosting its international network, adding extra flights and launching new routes, ‘in line with strong travel demand and the broader recovery of the aviation industry.’

From October 2023, QF will add approximately one million seats to its international network over 12 months, ‘offering customers more choice to popular destinations across Asia, the United States and the Pacific.’ This will see capacity return to 100% pre-covid levels by early next year, an increase of 44% from 2022 and 84% compared to the current levels.

QF will add services on existing routes to Asia and North America and its regional, Pacific and Tasman operations. Next week, QF Will resume its flights to San Francisco (SFO) before launching its inaugural service from SYD to New York (JFK) via Auckland (AKL) in June. Seasonal flights to Rome (FCO) and between Melbourne (MEL) and Hong Kong (HKG) will also recommence next month.

Qantas (VH-ZNB) Boeing 787-9. Photo: Noah Pitkin/Airways.

Fleet News

To fulfil these ambitions, Qantas will bring back further Airbus A380s from desert storage. Over the past six months, the airline has returned five aircraft into service. It has also welcomed a new Boeing 787-9 into the fleet, and two more will arrive in June.

The airline will also be wet-leasing a pair of Airbus A330-300s from Finnair (AY), deploying the jets on flights between Sydney (SYD) and Bangkok (BKK). The first will arrive in October 2023, with the second following early next year. The wet-lease (with crew) will cover two years before switching to a dry lease (without crew) for a period of two and a half years. AY has said that the agreement with fellow Oneworld alliance member will allow the airline to ‘ensure the optimal use of its A330 fleet’ and ‘concludes the optimisation of Finnair’s fleet following the Russian airspace closure.’

Two Airbus A330-300s will be leased from Finnair (AY). Photo: Nick Sheeder/Airways.

CEO Comments

Outgoing QF CEO Alan Joyce said, “The rebound in demand for international travel since borders reopened has been incredibly strong and this boost to our network will add hundreds of thousands of seats in time for the busy Australian summer holiday period.

“While airlines globally are working to restore capacity to meet demand, there is still a mismatch between supply and demand for international flying. But with more of our aircraft back in the air, new 787s joining our fleet and our contract with Finnair, we’ve got more seats for our customers and more opportunity for Qantas crew as we increase our own flying.”

Featured Image: Qantas (VH-OQI) Airbus A380-800. Photo: Christian Winter/Airways.

European Deputy Editor
Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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