Qantas’ record half-yearly profit of $976 million was widely reported by Australian media. But of most interest to frequent flyers are the other announcements made alongside the financial reporting in the Qantas half-yearly results.
The first announcement was that Jetstar will acquire 18 brand new Airbus A321 LR NEO aircraft between 2020 and 2022. These aircraft will be used to fly medium-haul routes, e.g. from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Bali. The A321 LR NEOs have better range than Jetstar’s existing narrow-body aircraft and also burn less fuel. The implications of this announcement are that Jetstar will eventually redeploy some of its Boeing 787s, which currently fly to Bali, onto other new international routes. It also means that Jetstar will likely stop selling Business class to Bali. Meanwhile, Jetstar’s existing narrow-body aircraft are being reconfigured with thinner slimline seats.
QantasLink’s Dash 8 fleet is also set to receive a cabin upgrade with new leather seats and cabin interiors. The QantasLink Dash 8 cabin upgrades will commence in June 2018 and should be completed by December 2019.
Meanwhile, Qantas has announced it will invest $20 million in a Qantas Group Pilot Academy, where it will train the next generation of pilots. Graduates of the new Pilot Academy will likely go on to work for QantasLink or Jetstar.
And in welcome news for Sydney-based flyers, Qantas’ Sydney international Business Lounge will finally receive a refresh. Renovation work will commence in the second half of 2018.
Other news from the Qantas half-yearly results includes:
- 30% of Qantas’ Boeing 737 fleet now has wifi
- There are now 12 million Qantas Frequent Flyer members
- Qantas Club revenue has increased
- Club Jetstar now has almost 200,000 members
- The number of Qantas Business Rewards members has increased by 11% to 180,000 members
- Qantas reports a strong increase in commissions received from selling QF-marketed codeshare seats on other airlines’ flights