Qantas Freight is gearing up for a record Christmas season with domestic freight volumes up almost 75 per cent on pre-COVID levels, as online shopping deliveries ramp up.
Across December, the Qantas Freight network will carry around 26,000 tonnes of freight to domestic, regional and international cities, an increase on last December’s record month and up more than 50 per cent on our average monthly uplift.
Qantas Freight operates 19 dedicated freighters domestically (including up to 16 for major partner Australia Post), and four international freighters. Qantas Freight domestic aircraft travel more than 11 million kilometres each year, the equivalent of 14 round trips to the moon.
Qantas Executive Manager for Freight, Catriona Larritt, said work had been underway for months to get ready for the peak season.
“Along with our partner Australia Post we’ve been planning for this bumper season since last Christmas,” Ms Larritt said.
“We’ve seen huge increases in online shopping since the start of the pandemic and remains strong.
“In the last few weeks of December, many people super-charge their online shopping sprees to take advantage of door-to-door express deliveries for themselves as well as gifts for family and friends.
“We’re doing everything we can to help Santa get everyone’s presents under their trees by Christmas morning, including rostering on more staff, using bigger aircraft and putting on special charter services.
“In the busiest days leading up to Christmas we’ll carry around 1,200 tonnes of cargo, around double our daily average amount across our freight fleet and in the belly of passenger flights.
“Our domestic services alone will be move up to 650 tonnes on the busiest nights to help with Santa’s deliveries, equivalent to around 1.3 million iPads.”
Australia Post General Manager Premium Services and International Mark Davies said: “The support of key partners like Qantas has been pivotal in enabling us to deliver for our customers, especially during this incredibly busy period.
“We anticipate a busy last week in the lead up to Christmas with many customers choosing our Express Post option to ensure their gifts reach loved ones in time,” Mr Davies said.
“This year has been bigger than ever for us, in fact to help support the increase in parcel and mail volume we have increased our dedicated freighter capacity by up to 50 per cent in the weeks leading up to Christmas, as we continue to see Australians taking advantage of cyber sales.”
Qantas Freight recently announced it was investing in six Airbus A321 aircraft, as well as converting two A330 passenger jets to freighters to meet growing e-commerce demand.
In addition to Australia Post’s parcels, some of the items Qantas Freight is transporting in the lead up to Christmas include:
Fresh seafood such as coral trout, lobsters and abalone
Cherries, mangoes and stone fruit