Australian airExpress
IATA ICAO Callsign
Ceased operations2013
HubsMelbourne Airport
Parent companyQantas
HeadquartersMelbourne, Victoria, Australia

Australian airExpress was a logistics company based in Melbourne, Australia. It operated freight-only services within Australia using aircraft operated by Express Freighters Australia (a subsidiary of Qantas), National Jet Systems and Pel-Air; and a fleet of land vehicles. Its main base was Melbourne Airport.[1] Australian airExpress was absorbed into Qantas Freight during February 2013.


Express Freighters Australia Boeing 737s formed the core of the Australian airExpress fleet after National Jet Systems' Boeing 727s were retired
National Jet Systems BAe 146-300 operating on behalf of Australian airExpress
Pel-Air Fairchild Expediter operating on behalf of Australian airExpress
Australian airExpress International facility at Sydney Airport

Australian airExpress was established in early 1992 as a domestic air freight company with the ability of pick-up and delivery services using both vans and trucks. AaE started operations on 1 August 1992. It was established as a joint venture between Australia's largest airline Qantas (50%), and government-owned postal provider Australia Post (50%) as a main competitor to the then Ansett Australia. AaE operated more than 50 nightly inter-capital freighter services.[1] AaE used freight capacity on Qantas domestic flights and also dedicated cargo services operated on its behalf by several different companies, principally using Boeing 727 aircraft. Australian airExpress began the phasing out of the 727s in September 2006[2] and they were replaced by specially converted Boeing 737 aircraft that were formerly part of the Qantas fleet, operated by Qantas subsidiary Express Freighters Australia. The first Boeing 737 entered service on 24 October 2006.[2] On 2 October 2012, Qantas announced it would acquire Australia Post's 50% interest in AaE, in return for Australia Post acquiring Qantas' 50% interest in Star Track Express.[3]

Australian airExpress was absorbed into Qantas Freight during February 2013. As a result, its own website ceased to exist but some of its operations are still continuing as the air division of Star Track Express.[4]


AaE flight operations were somewhat complex and varied. "Next Flight" services used space on the next available scheduled Qantas passenger flights. Items carried for Overnight, 2 Day Economy and Off-Peak deliveries were flown on both Qantas and Australian airExpress aircraft operated by Express Freighters Australia, National Jet Systems subsidiary National Jet Express, and Pel-Air. The company did not service the Northern Territory 'overnight' from Sydney. Due to the three different service providers, AaE flights operated using different flight numbers and callsigns. The Express Freighters Australia Boeing 737s used Qantas flight numbers and callsigns as the ground handling was done by Qantas/Express Freighters,[5] while National Jet Express used the aircraft registration as their callsign and used the IATA designator XM for its flight numbers (and used the ICAO designator XME).[2][6] Pel-Air flights also used XM flight numbers but had no specific callsigns. AaE also had an international Division called Australian airExpress International.


In February 2008 Australian airExpress operated freight services to the following domestic scheduled destinations:[2][6][7]

Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Northern Territory
South Australia
Western Australia


The following aircraft were operating on behalf of Australian airExpress in December 2011:[1][6][8][9]

Australian airExpress Fleet
Aircraft Total Notes
Fairchild Metro III 1 Operated by Pel-Air
Boeing 737-300F 4 Operated by Express Freighters Australia
BAe 146-300QT 2 Operated by Cobham Aviation Services
BAe 146-100QT 1 Operated by Cobham Aviation Services

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 27 March 2007. pp. 80–81.
  2. ^ a b c d Reid, Gordon. "Freighter Farewell", Australian Aviation magazine No. 239, June 2007, p70-71. Phantom Media Pty. Ltd., Fyshwick ACT. ISSN 0813-0876
  3. ^ "Australia Post to buy Qantas out of freight group StarTrack Express in $400 million deal". Herald Sun. 2 October 2012.
  4. ^ "Australian air Express and Qantas Freight". Archived from the original on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  5. ^ Sydney Airport website Archived 3 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 5 February 2008.
  6. ^ a b c National Jet Express AOC Archived 7 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 6 September 2008.
  7. ^ Australian air Express locations retrieved 5 February 2008.
  8. ^ Express Freighters Australia AOC Archived 30 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 6 September 2008.
  9. ^ Australian civil aircraft register search, using "National Jet Express" as the search parameter.[permanent dead link] Search conducted 6 September 2008.