The first Network Aviation Fokker 100 to be repainted in QantasLink colours has been revealed as part of a fleet-wide rebranding of the Qantas Group’s Perth-based subsidiary.
Qantas on Friday confirmed Network’s entire fleet of 14 Fokker 100s would be repainted in QantasLink colours in the coming months, with all Network-services to be operated under the QantasLink brand.
It forms part of an ongoing consolidation of the Qantas offering across Western Australia, as a changing marketplace sees a reduction in FIFO flights and the shifting of capacity to regular public transport (RPT) services.
The move was foreshadowed in late 2014, Qantas announced plans to use Fokker 100 aircraft from its Network Aviation subsidiary to operate scheduled flights in Western Australia under the QantasLink brand.
And in March 2015, QantasLink Dash 8 Q400 flights were replaced by Network Aviation Fokker 100s on a number of key routes, including Geraldton and Exmouth.
The 100-seat aircraft will retain an all-economy interior, with a refurbishment of the current décor to bring the aircraft inline with the standard Qantaslink on-board experience. Passengers will also notice cabin crew wearing standard Qantas uniform.
Network Aviation will continue to operate under its own air operator’s certificate (AOC). The move will see WA QantasLink flights operated by both Network Aviation and Cobham, which will continue to manage and operate the Boeing 717 fleet.
QantasLink chief executive officer John Gissing said the rebranding of the Fokker 100 aircraft was an important step for Network Aviation as a member of the broader Qantas Group.
“Network Aviation has been part of the Qantas Group since 2011, and repainting the F100 fleet with our QantasLink branding is the logical next step for the brand,” Gissing said in a statement on Friday.
The first repainted Fokker 100, VH-NHY, emerged from the Flying Colours Aviation paint shop in Townsville on Thursday afternoon. The aircraft then flew Townsville-Alice Springs-Perth that evening, according to flight tracking website FlightAware.
Network’s fleet has grown from eight aircraft to 14 since Qantas purchased the previously charter-only operator in 2011.