Qantas is establishing a dedicated sub-fleet of six freighter aircraft to deliver domestic mail, parcels and Express Post for Australia Post and its subsidiary StarTrack.
The fleet comprises two Boeing 737-300Fs and three BAe 146-300Fs from Qantas’s existing freighter fleet that will be joined by a new Boeing 737-400F, with the aircraft to branded with StarTrack livery.
From July the aircraft will operate to nine domestic destinations as part of a five-year contract signed in 2015 worth an estimated $500 million that sees Qantas contracted to transport Australia Post mail and parcels until mid-2020.
The dedicated freighter fleet – the 737s are operated by Qantas-owned Express Freighters Australia while the BAe 146s are operated for Qantas by Cobham Aviation Services – is in addition to Australia Post receiving priority access to the belly space in Qantas and Jetstar’s passenger fleet.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said Australia Post would benefit from the airline group’s scale and wide network reach.
“Our focus in designing this agreement is to help our biggest freight customer better coordinate their supply chain and ultimately deliver a better service to their customers,” Joyce said in a statement.
Qantas, Australia Post and StarTrack have a long history of cooperation. Qantas and Australia Post formed domestic air freight operator Australian air Express in 1992 as a 50:50 joint venture, while in 2003, again as 50:50 partners, they acquired courier delivery company Star Track Express. In 2012 Qantas sold its share of StarTrack to Australia Post, and in turn acquired Australia Post’s 50 per cent share in Australian air Express.