Qantas and Jetstar to lead the way - Australian Airlines to be scrapped

Travel News Asia Wednesday, 12 April 2006

The Qantas Group has confirmed that as part of its strategy to focus on two strong brands Qantas and Jetstar the Australian Airlines brand would cease to exist from July 2006.

The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Mr Geoff Dixon said Australian Airlines staff would operate services under the Qantas brand.

From a customer perspective, these flights will be like all other Qantas international services. They will have Qantas flight numbers, aircraft will be branded in Qantas livery and crew in Qantas uniforms will provide Qantas inflight product, he said.

Australian Airlines has done an outstanding job over the past few years, but we are determined to take full advantage of Jetstars success, with its highly competitive cost structure and service standards.

Mr Dixon said that Jetstar had created 1,300 new jobs since it commenced flying.

A further 550 new positions will be created by mid 2007 for its international operations, he added.

Jetstar will be grown aggressively over the next three years while we continue to expand Qantas international operations.

The result will be two separate, competitive brands, with Qantas targeting premium business and leisure passengers and Jetstar concentrating primarily on leisure markets.

This is a very positive development that will boost Australian tourism at the same time as enabling the Qantas Group to grow.

The changes will see:

Australian Airlines aircraft and crew continuing to operate from the Cairns base under the new arrangements;
Cairns remain a major hub for Qantas international services, with 49 return flights per week;
the establishment of new Japan routes for the Qantas Group, with Jetstar flying daily Sydney-Osaka and Osaka-Brisbane-Sydney services;
Jetstar flying to new destinations for the Qantas Group in Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City) and Thailand (Phuket); and
Group services to Honolulu increase to eight flights a week, with Jetstar offering three per week from Sydney and two per week from Melbourne in addition to Qantas three weekly Sydney-Honolulu flights.

From 1 July, around 40 Australian Airlines cabin crew positions would be lost progressively, with no compulsory redundancies expected.

Around 370 Australian Airlines positions will remain in Cairns, in addition to Jetstars own Cairns base, which is expected to grow, Mr Dixon said.

From July:

Qantas thrice-weekly Adelaide-Darwin-Singapore A330-300 services will operate non-stop between Adelaide and Singapore;
the five services operated each week by Australian Airlines between Cairns and Singapore would be operated by Qantas via Darwin;
Australian Airlines four weekly Cairns-Gold Coast services would cease, with a new daily Qantas international flight linking Brisbane and Cairns to cater for the inbound tourism market, particularly from Japan; and
Australian Airlines current twice-weekly Cairns-Hong Kong and four weekly Cairns-Sydney services would cease.

Qantas will continue to provide:

double daily flights between Cairns and Tokyo;
daily flights between Cairns and each of the Japanese cities of Nagoya and Osaka;
a daily international flight between Cairns and Sydney, to cater for the inbound tourism market, particularly from Japan; and
a total of seven services per week to Bali from Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, with Sydney and Melbourne flights to progressively transition to Jetstar.

Jetstars proposed route network included six destinations in Asia and the Pacific Bangkok, Phuket, Osaka, Ho Chi Minh City, Bali and Honolulu operated by two-class Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

The Jetstar fleet is expected to transition to the 311-seat Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft part of Qantas' $20 billion fleet reinvestment program from August 2008.

Customers affected by these changes will be contacted by Qantas or their travel agent.

See other recent news regarding: Travel News Asia, Qantas, Jetstar

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