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QantasLink shifts turboprops to all-Q400 fleet

written by Jake Nelson | June 25, 2024

A QantasLink Q400, VH-QOW, at Sydney Airport. (Image: Qantas)

QantasLink is set to phase out all 19 of its Dash 8 Q200 and Q300 turboprops in favour of 14 Q400s.

The mid-life aircraft, to be sourced from an unnamed international carrier, will enter service from the end of the 2024 calendar year, bringing QantasLink’s total Q400 fleet to 45. Each will have 78 seats, compared to 74 for QantasLink’s existing Q400s, 50 on its Q300s and 36 on its Q200s.

According to Qantas Group CEO Vanessa Hudson, the Q400s are more than 30 per cent faster, produce less carbon emissions per passenger, and are on average 10 years younger than the aircraft they are replacing.

“QantasLink turboprops carry more than 3.5 million customers to more than 50 destinations around regional Australia every year, and these next-generation aircraft allow us to improve the travel experience with a faster and more comfortable experience,” she said.

“By consolidating our turboprops into a single fleet type, we’ll be able to further improve our reliability and provide a better recovery for our customers during disruptions as well as reducing complexity and cost for our operation.

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“We know sustainable travel is important for our customers. These additional Q400s allow us to provide certainty to the regions over the next decade while we work with aircraft manufacturers and other suppliers on electric or battery-powered aircraft that are the right size and range for our network.”

The Q400 announcement comes as Qantas continues its fleet overhaul program, with a third QantasLink A220-300 expected to arrive in the coming weeks.

The 137-seater A220s are gradually replacing QantasLink’s ageing Boeing 717 fleet, and offer a greater range and more fuel efficiency as well as cabin improvements including larger windows, more overhead locker space, and more comfortable economy seating compared to the 717.

According to QantasLink CEO Rachel Yangoyan, the A220 will “make a real difference” for passengers travelling across the Qantas network.

“The A220 is more comfortable, offering a greater sense of space and fast and free Wi-Fi for every customer. The aircraft are also quieter and generate up to 25 per cent fewer carbon emissions, which is critical as we work towards our net zero target,” she said.

Qantas says the net investment in its fleet will primarily be spread across the 2025 and 2026 financial years, with the majority in 2025.

“The investment in FY25 will be managed within existing net capex guidance of $3.7bn to $3.9bn,” said the Flying Kangaroo in a statement.

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