Qantas Airways has said it would review over the next
12 months whether to commit investment to major inhouse engineering and maintenance
operations for its fleet of new aircraft.The Chief Executive of Qantas, Mr Geoff Dixon, said the Review would be led by senior
Engineering managers and undertaken in consultation with staff and the major unions.
“This is one of the most important decisions Qantas will make and it will be done openly
and in an inclusive and constructive manner.”
Mr Dixon said Qantas would take delivery of over 100 new Airbus A330 and A380 and
Boeing 787 aircraft over the next 15 years.
“These aircraft will progressively replace the airline’s 767 and 747 aircraft, which have
been the mainstays of our long-haul fleet for many years.
“The changing face and economics of Maintenance Repair Operations (MRO) around the
world compel us to consider how and where these aircraft will be maintained.
“Scale and efficiency are now the hallmarks of the MROs that are increasingly being used
to maintain aircraft from an increasing number of large international airlines.
“The review is about trying to create conditions for the necessary investment to bring the
maintenance of the A330 aircraft fleet, which will soon number around 30, into Australia.
“We need to decide by the second half of 2007 whether to bring the A330s, which are
currently being maintained in the Philippines, onshore to Brisbane.”
Mr Dixon said the Review was also about trying to create the conditions that would allow
the B787, and even the A380, to be maintained in Australia.
He said the Review would include the airline’s 737 Narrow-Body Maintenance operations
at Tullamarine and its operations at Avalon, where over 800 people were employed.
“We have decided to leave the 737 work at Tullamarine pending this Review and while we
assess options for a closer working relationship between the Tullamarine and Avalon
He said that apart from normal ‘overflow’ work, the Review would not result in any existing
maintenance work in Australia going overseas.