Qantas to fly six-strong postal freighter fleet
03 / 05 / 2016
Qantas Freight has revamped its domestic Australia Post network by dedicating five of its ten-strong freighter fleet to the service and will also soon take delivery of a B737-400 freighter for the exclusive use of the operation.
Currently, Qantas operates ten domestic freighters across Australia – four B737-300CF, four BaE146 and two SAAB 340 aircraft.
From 1 July, five of these freighters – two B737-300s and three BAE146-300s – will be used to fulfil an exclusive dedicated network for Australia Post and its e-commerce delivery arm, StarTrack.
This will serve nine destinations on the east and west coasts, and will be joined by the new B737-400F to help meet forecast growth in the parcel business.
Qantas’ remaining fleet of freighters will continue to operate a domestic freighter network, offering (at this stage) 36 services to six destinations per week to meet the needs of other express and overnight customers.
It complements the 5,000-plus weekly belly space services Qantas Freight offers across Australia, and to which Australia Post also has priority access.
They also meet the needs of major express customers that aggregate cargo throughout the day, and then rely on overnight freighter flights to achieve early morning arrival and same day distribution across their networks.
There is no change to Qantas’ international freighter network.
The new Australia Post network is part of a five year contract, worth over $500 million, signed last year for the transport of domestic mail, parcels and express post until mid-2020.
Australia Post managing director and group chief executive, Ahmed Fahour, said: “The dedicated domestic air-freighter network – featuring our StarTrack-branded planes – is our latest milestone in delivering a world-class parcels, freight and logistics network that meets the ecommerce needs of Australian businesses and consumers and connects them to global opportunities."
Qantas Group chief executive, Alan Joyce, said the new arrangement focused on providing a fast, reliable and more efficient service to Australia Post and StarTrack.
He added: “We’re thrilled to provide Australia Post with a dedicated freighter network for domestic customers. This builds on the strong relationship that has existed between the national carrier and the nation’s postal service since 1922 when Qantas first started flying airmail.”
“Our transformation programme has sharpened the efficiency and flexibility of our freight business, and sharing these benefits with customers is part of our competitive edge.
"Our focus in designing this agreement is to help our biggest freight customer better coordinate their supply chain and ultimately deliver a better service to their customers.”
With the additional B737-400, Qantas Freight will have a total of 14 aircraft., including two B747-400Fs and one B767-300F. Together with partner Emirates, it also offers over 500 international destinations.