A new Qantas A330, which landed in Sydney this morning from the Airbus factory in Toulouse, will become the ninth A330 flying on the Qantas domestic network and will start passenger flights within weeks.
Qantas Domestic Chief Executive Officer Lyell Strambi, who unveiled the new aircraft to over 1000 Qantas employees at an event in Sydney, said the A330 aircraft was a vital part of the Qantas domestic strategy.
“Qantas’ A330 aircraft offer superior space and comfort and have individual in-flight entertainment for all of our passengers, making them ideal for longer flights,” Mr Strambi said.
“From May next year, Qantas will deploy A330s on all weekday Sydney-Perth and Melbourne-Perth services which will enable us to better service the growing business market.
“One of Qantas’ key strengths in the domestic market is our wide-body aircraft, which are very popular with our customers.”
Qantas has 30 wide-body aircraft operating on domestic routes in Australia, made up of A330s and B767s.
Mr Strambi said Qantas had signed a number of major new corporate accounts over the past few months, many who have tried other airlines and returned to Qantas.
“In addition to our fleet of new aircraft, our superior network, frequencies, lounges, on-time performance, and frequent flyer program, have seen us maintain our status as best for business and premium travellers,” he said.
“We are also the only domestic airline that offers a meal and checked-in baggage to every passenger as part of their fare, no matter what time they are flying or which class they are in.”
The new Qantas A330 is configured with 36 seats in Business and 268 seats in Economy. Airbus has installed the latest Panasonic on-demand in-flight entertainment and laptop power in every seat.
Qantas currently operates around 100 return flights with more than 26,000 seats from Perth to Sydney and Melbourne each week – about 40 per cent more than our competitor.
Mr Strambi said with the A330, next generation Boeing 737-800 and a growing fleet of regional aircraft including the Boeing 717 and Bombardier Q400 aircraft, Qantas was well positioned for growth in Australia.
“The significant and ongoing fleet renewal is great for customers, great for our shareholders and great for our employees,” he said.
“The Qantas Group has taken delivery of 24 next-generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft with individual entertainment units for all passengers and over the next 12 months another eight will join the fleet.
“Our Boeing 717 aircraft, which we fly on our intra-West Australian and Queensland routes particularly for the mining and resources sectors, will also have new seats and updated interiors installed.”
“By March, Qantas will have refurbished 16 Boeing 767 (B767) aircraft with new interiors and individual inflight entertainment streamed direct to iPads in every seat. These aircraft look and feel like new and we expect these changes to be very popular with our customers.”
In the past 12 months Qantas has resumed services from Sydney to the Gold Coast, built new lounges at Gold Coast, Gladstone, Mackay, Emerald, Davenport and Rockhampton airport, commenced services to a number of new regional and Fly-In-Fly-Out destinations and introduced a number of new initiatives to improve customer experiences including free Wi-Fi at airports and dedicated premium boarding.