Qantas announced today that it would take delivery of two additional 72-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft in January 2008. Qantas Group General Manager Regional Airlines, Mr Narendra Kumar, said the purchase involved the exercising of two options taken out when an original firm order for seven Q400s was placed in early 2005. He said 12 Q400 options and purchase rights remained available that could be exercised quickly to respond to further demand for additional capacity on regional routes. “The original $200 million Q400 order was the Qantas Group’s largest single investment in its regional aircraft fleet,” Mr Kumar said. “These new aircraft will boost QantasLink’s Q400 fleet to nine and allow the airline to increase capacity on a number of key regional routes. This will include Sydney-Canberra, which will be operated exclusively by B737 and Q400 aircraft.” Mr Kumar said that, with its jet-like speed and improved passenger comfort, the Q400 was central to QantasLink’s growth strategy. “All aircraft from the initial Q400 order commenced commercial operations in 2006, allowing QantasLink to open a number of new routes and increase overall capacity by nearly 20 per cent. “As with our initial Q400 order, these latest aircraft represent another substantial investment in the Qantas Group’s regional fleet and our ongoing commitment to our regional operations,” he said. QantasLink currently has a fleet of 46 aircraft and operates more than 1,900 flights each week, serving 49 destinations throughout Australia.