Two QantasLink 717s currently operating in Western Australia will be refitted from 125-seat all-economy class configurations to two-class 110-seat (12 business and 98 economy) interiors, Qantas says, as the airline continues to match capacity with demand.
The airline’s QantasLink regional arm operates a total of 20 Boeing 717s, with 10 single-class aircraft currently operating intrastate WA flying and 10 two-class aircraft flying on East Coast routes.
Reconfiguring one of the 717s will allow that aircraft to be based in Brisbane to operate Brisbane-Adelaide and Brisbane-Cairns flight, in turn freeing up a Boeing 737-800 to be redeployed elsewhere on the Qantas network.
“By having the flexibility to move aircraft around the network we can manage changes in demand while continuing to support customers with the right schedule and product,” a Qantas spokesperson said via emailed statement.
The second reconfigured two-class aircraft will be used as an operational spare to cover maintenance on other 717s.
The first 717 will gain its new interior “later this year”, while the second aircraft will be refitted in January.
“Eight single-class 717 aircraft will continue to operate our intra-WA routes and we’ll also look to increase the utilisation of our F100 aircraft,” Qantas says.
“These changes will have no impact on our frequencies in intra-WA.”
The two aircraft will be refurbished at QantasLink’s Canberra heavy maintenance facility.