26 June 2024

QantasLink to replace small turboprops on regional routes including Canberra and Riverina

| Andrew McLaughlin
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QantasLink Q400

The larger Q400 has between 42 and 28 more seats than the smaller Q200/Q300s and is 30 per cent faster. Photo: QantasLink.

Qantas’s regional subsidiary has announced it will replace its remaining Dash 8 Q200 and Q300 turboprop airliners that regularly service Canberra and regional centres with larger Q400 models.

QantasLink currently operates 19 36-seat Q200 and 50-seat Q300 models on regional routes to nearly 50 destinations in Australia, including Canberra, Wagga Wagga and Albury. It also currently operates 31 larger Q400s and says it will acquire an additional 14 Q400s so it can phase out the 19 smaller aircraft.

The 78-seat Q400s will be sourced from other airlines, as manufacturer De Havilland Canada ceased production of new aircraft in 2021. However, even as used aircraft, Qantas says the new aircraft are, on average, 10 years younger than the smaller aircraft they will replace.

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The Q400 can operate into almost all the destinations serviced by the smaller aircraft, but is 30 per cent faster and produces less carbon emissions per passenger than the Q300. Consolidating to a single-type turboprop fleet will also reduce operating costs and increase fleet commonality and utilisation across the network.

“As the national carrier, we are proud of the role we have played for more than 100 years keeping regional communities connected, and this investment ensures there will be ongoing reliable air services across many parts of regional Australia,” Qantas Group CEO Vanessa Hudson said.

“QantasLink turboprops carry more than 3.5 million customers to more than 50 destinations around regional Australia every year, and these next-generation aircraft allow us to improve the travel experience with a faster and more comfortable experience.

“By consolidating our turboprops into a single fleet type, we’ll be able to further improve our reliability and provide a better recovery for our customers during disruptions as well as reducing complexity and cost for our operation,” she added.

“We know sustainable travel is important for our customers. These additional Q400s allow us to provide certainty to the regions over the next decade while we work with aircraft manufacturers and other suppliers on electric or battery-powered aircraft that are the right size and range for our network.”

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The announcement of the new Q400s comes just months after the introduction of the new Airbus A220 regional jet into QantasLink service to replace the Boeing 717.

The airline currently has two A220s in service, which are based in Canberra, with a third due to join the fleet in July.

Original Article published by Andrew McLaughlin on Riotact.

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