Qantas is aiming to grab a larger slice of the WA aviation market, with the airline targeting fly-in/fly-out (FIFO) and other regional operations.
According to a report in The West Australian newspaper, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the airline had entered a tender to the WA government to operate services on the Perth to Albany, Geraldton and Esperance routes. The three turboprop routes are proposed to be opened to two RPT operators under the WA government’s regional aviation framework, with tenders for other routes set to close on August 11, with new services expected to start from March 1.
It is expected that QantasLink could operate the services using 74-seat Bombardier Q400s or 50-seat Q300s, possibly through a contract arrangement with Cobham as currently in place for its fleet of Boeing 717s. Qantas recently ordered an additional seven Q400s for QantasLink operations.
Joyce also signalled that the airline was also taking a “serious look” at the FIFO charter market, which has been dominated by Skywest and other carriers in recent years. It comes after Skywest and Virgin Blue recently signed an agreement to explore avenues for closer cooperation between the two carriers.