The former Jetstar-operated A320, VH-VQS, operating under the Jetstar flight number JQ8996, arrived in Perth from Seletar, Singapore on its delivery to Qantas subsidiary Network Aviation shortly before midday. The aircraft is the first of two A320s Network will operate under the QantasLink brand on resource industry fly-in/fly-out charter services in Western Australia.
The introduction into the Network fleet of the 180-seat all-economy class configured Airbuses will in turn allow Qantas to redeploy two Boeing 737-800s elsewhere in its network.
The two aircraft are due to enter service in April, Qantas said in January when it confirmed the new additions to the Network fleet.
Qantas acquired Network Aviation, which at the time was a charter and FIFO operator, in February 2011.
Since then Perth-based subsidiary has expanded its role within the Qantas Group to also fly some regular public transport (RPT) services in WA with its fleet of Fokker 100 aircraft.
VH-VQS, which was originally delivered brand new to Jetstar in September 2005, now becomes the largest aircraft in the Network fleet, and the largest to wear the QantasLink livery of Qantas’s regional operations.
However it is not the first Airbus A320 to be used in Australia for FIFO, as Virgin Australia Regional Airlines also operates two A320s on FIFO services in WA.