QantasLink boosts fleet

19th May 2008

QantasLink has announced it would introduce its
new Bombardier Q400 aircraft on the Tamworth-Sydney route, increasing
capacity on the route by 24 per cent from August 2008.QantasLink announced its purchase of 12 additional Bombardier 72-seat Q400
aircraft at a cost of $400 million last October.

Qantas Group General Manager Regional Airlines, Mr Narendra Kumar, said
QantasLink was now pleased to announce that Tamworth would be the first
regional centre in New South Wales to have Q400 services on a daily basis.

“The new aircraft will enable us to offer 3,360 seats between Tamworth and
Sydney each week, an increase of 660 seats each week.”

Mr Kumar said the new Q400 would operate 15 of the 27 Tamworth-Sydney
weekly return services. The aircraft would also overnight in Tamworth six
nights a week, enabling the airline to upgrade capacity on the first
Tamworth-Sydney early morning service and also on the Sydney-Tamworth
evening service. The lunchtime Sydney-Tamworth return service would also be

Mr Kumar said QantasLink was the first airline in the Southern Hemisphere
to offer the new aircraft and Tamworth was chosen as the initial regional
New South Wales destination due to the overwhelming community support the
airline received earlier this year.


“QantasLink successfully operated the Q400 aircraft into Tamworth during
the Country Music Festival in January this year, and the record passenger
numbers that travelled for the event gave us the confidence to schedule the
aircraft to Tamworth on a permanent basis,” he said.

Mr Kumar also said the Q400 aircraft was not only larger, but was faster
and more environmentally friendly than alternative jet aircraft in the

“The Q400 offers jet-like speed and improved passenger comfort for 72
passengers. In addition, the aircraft’s flying speed of up to 360 knots
will reduce the flight time between Tamworth and Sydney to just 55
minutes,” he said.

“The Tamworth business and tourism sector will benefit from the shorter
flying time as well as the additional capacity on peak business demand

Mr Kumar said QantasLink had invested over $600 million in Q400 aircraft
since 2006, which clearly showed the airline’s ongoing commitment to
regional air services.

QantasLink last month celebrated 18 years of operation in Tamworth and
employed around 90 staff in the town, including those employed at the
airline’s heavy maintenance facility and finance department.


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