QantasLink
IATA ICAO Callsign
QF QLK
QJE
NWK
Q-LINK
Q-JET
NET-LINK
Founded2002
Operating bases
Frequent-flyer programQantas Frequent Flyer
AllianceOneworld (Affiliate)
Fleet size103
Destinations54
Parent companyQantas
HeadquartersSydney, New South Wales, Australia
Websitewww.qantaslink.com.au

QantasLink is a regional brand of Australian airline Qantas and is an affiliate member of the Oneworld airline alliance. It is a major competitor to Regional Express Airlines and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines. As of September 2010 QantasLink provides 1,900 flights each week to 54 domestic locations.[1]

History

QantasLink's origins as a single brand for Qantas' regional airline subsidiaries go back to October 1993, when Qantas acquired Australian Airlink Pty Ltd and its fleet from parent company National Jet Systems,[2] which up to that point had been operating flights on major regional routes for Australian Airlines. The Australian Airlink name remained and the fleet was repainted in Qantas livery, and National Jet Systems was subsequently contracted by Qantas to operate Australian Airlink aircraft.

Prior to 2002, Qantas' various subsidiaries operated under their own names, eventually adopting the Australian Airlines, and later, Qantas liveries. In 2002 a common brand was created, encompassing AirLink (a franchise, operated by National Jet Systems), Sunstate Airlines, Eastern Australia Airlines, and Southern Australia Airlines; Southern Australia has since ceased operations.

For a short while, QantasLink took over some of Qantas' non-trunk routes, such as Sydney - Sunshine Coast, using Boeing 717s that were inherited after Qantas acquired Impulse Airlines. QantasLink ceased operating some of these routes after Qantas formed low-cost subsidiary Jetstar Airways, transferring the Boeing 717 aircraft and routes to the new airline. In 2005/06, eight of the 717s were returned to QantasLink following Jetstar's acquisition of Airbus A320 aircraft, to be operated in Western Australia, Northern Territory and far north Queensland by National Jet Systems.

On 31 July 2015, Network Aviation was rebranded to QantasLink. This was announced by Qantas with the unveiling of a Fokker 100 in QantasLink colours.[3]

In January 2018, Network Aviation confirmed it would lease two Airbus A320s from Jetstar Airways for flights to and from Perth as part of the QantasLink brand.[4]

On 20 May 2020, Qantas announced the purchase of Cobham Australia's National Jet Systems subsidiary, bringing both employees and the Boeing 717-200 fleet in-house.[5][6]

On 4 February 2021, Qantas announced that they will be leasing 3 Embraer E190 with the option for up to 14 to operate on routes like Adelaide-Alice Springs, Darwin-Alice Springs, and Darwin-Adelaide.[7]

Fleet

Boeing 717-200 in the former livery taking off from Perth Airport
Boeing 717-200 in the former livery taking off from Perth Airport
De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400 in the former livery taking off from Sydney Airport
De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400 in the former livery taking off from Sydney Airport
Fokker 100 in the current livery taxiing at Wagga Wagga Airport
Fokker 100 in the current livery taxiing at Wagga Wagga Airport
De Havilland Canada Dash 8-300 in current livery at Wagga Wagga Airport
De Havilland Canada Dash 8-300 in current livery at Wagga Wagga Airport

QantasLink flights are operated by the individual airlines that make up the group - Eastern Australia Airlines, Network Aviation, Sunstate Airlines; and National Jet Systems. As of May 2021, the QantasLink fleet consists of the following aircraft:[8]

QantasLink fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
J Y Total
Airbus A320-200 11 180 180[9] Operated by Network Aviation
Boeing 717-200 20 12 98 110[10] Operated by National Jet Systems
125 125[11]
De Havilland Canada Dash 8-200 3 36 36[12] Operated by Eastern Australia Airlines
De Havilland Canada Dash 8-300 16 50 50[13]
De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400 31 74 74[14] Operated by Sunstate Airlines
Embraer 190 5 13 10 84 94[15] Being wet leased from Alliance Airlines[15]
Fokker 100 17 100 100[16] Operated by Network Aviation
Total 103 13

All flights use QF IATA codes. Turboprop aircraft operate under the ICAO callsign QLK ("Q-LINK"). Until 5 January 2009, Eastern and Sunstate operated under their own callsigns. Network Aviation aircraft operate under their own callsign NWK ("NETLINK"). Boeing 717s operate under the callsign QJE ("Q-JET").

Expansion

QantasLink increased capacity by replacing many of its smaller Dash 8-100 and Q200 aircraft with Q400s. QantasLink pursued this deal despite landing gear problems with Q400 aircraft by some airlines. This problem also saw a grounding of the Q400s by QantasLink, though all were deemed safe and returned to service.

As part of its further expansion, QantasLink entered the South Australian market in December 2005, with flights from Adelaide to Port Lincoln and Kangaroo Island. Interstate flights were also introduced between Kangaroo Island and Melbourne. Due to low passenger loads, these services ceased operation at the end of June 2006, however QantasLink announced a resumption of Melbourne to Kangaroo Island from December 2017 alongside opening up Adelaide to Kangaroo Island flights.[17] On 8 December 2009, QantasLink announced that it would re-enter the Adelaide to Port Lincoln market from February 2010, using Q400 aircraft flying 23 return services a week.[18]

Since 2005, QantasLink 717 services in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and Tasmania have been contracted to Cobham Aviation (formerly National Jet Systems), using the QantasLink brand. The hubs for QantasLink under the Cobham contract are in Perth, Western Australia, Cairns, Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Sydney, New South Wales, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory and Hobart, Tasmania.

Qantas replaced its daily Melbourne-Launceston mainline service with a three times daily QantasLink Dash 8 service from 1 August 2006. This has now been increased to a four times daily service, supplemented in peak service periods by QantasLink 717 services.

In May 2008, QantasLink announced that it would order nine 717s. Tamworth would be the first New South Wales regional airport to be serviced by the Q400, commencing in mid-August 2008.[19]

On 29 March 2010 QantasLink and the Qantas Group announced that it would start the first international QantasLink route, from Cairns to Port Moresby, utilising Q400 aircraft already based in Cairns. The service commenced in July 2010. A QantasLink spokesperson stated that "the airline would not turn into a fully fledged international airline, but could operate international routes in the future".[20]

On 18 December 2014, QantasLink announced that it would add Whyalla, South Australia, to its network, with double daily flights to commence on 13 April 2015. The route is serviced by the 50-seat Q300.[21] In July 2015, Network Aviation was absorbed into the Qantas Link brand.[22] In November 2014, QantasLink became the first airline to fly to the newly opened Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, establishing direct Q400 services to Sydney. In February 2016 as a result of strong demand, QantasLink increased weekly services by two flights to fifteen weekly returns.[23]

Alliance Airlines delivered the first of three additional Fokker 100s in July 2016, with two more to be delivered by the end of the year.[24]

[25] Qantas takes delivery of more E190's - Wet leased from Alliance airlines. All currently as of 5 June 2021 in Alliance Livery - with artist impression/rendering of the E190's QantasLink Livery.

Former fleet

BAe 146-100 taking off from Perth Airport in 2003.
BAe 146-100 taking off from Perth Airport in 2003.
De Havilland Canada Dash 8-100 at Canberra Airport in 2004.

QantasLink previously operated the following types:

Destinations

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QantasLink destinations served by Eastern Australia Airlines
QantasLink destinations served by Sunstate Airlines
QantasLink destinations served by National Jet Systems

Incidents

See also

Footnotes

Notes

1. ^ QantasLink flights operated by National Jet Systems (Cobham Aviation Services Australia) use the call-sign "QJET", with the ICAO code QJE. All flights continue to operate under the IATA code QF.

2. ^ QantasLink flights operated by Network Aviation do not use an ICAO code and utilise the aircraft registration as a callsign.

References

  1. ^ "QANTAS Fact File" (PDF). Qantas. September 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
  2. ^ "VH-NJC BAe 146-100A Australia". www.aussieairliners.org. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Network Aviation becomes QantasLink | Australian Aviation". australianaviation.com.au. Archived from the original on 1 August 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  4. ^ "QantasLink to operate Airbus A320 aircraft". Airline Hub Buzz. Archived from the original on 17 January 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Qantas brings regional fleet back in-house". Australian Financial Review. 20 May 2020. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  6. ^ Cobham Aviation Services Australia (20 May 2020). "Qantas Group B717s update". Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  7. ^ "Qantas ups domestic capacity with Alliance E190 deal". Australian Aviation. 4 February 2021. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  8. ^ CASA civil aircraft register search, using "Eastern Australia Airlines", "Network Aviation" and "Sunstate Airlines" as keyword search parameters; and "717-200" as Aircraft Model search parameter. Search conducted 9 May 2019. Included in the results are five Eastern Australia Dash 8-300s operated on behalf of Jetstar in New Zealand.
  9. ^ "Airbus A320-200 | Qantas".
  10. ^ "Qantaslink Seat Map Boeing 717-200 12 Business 98 Economy" (PDF). Qantas. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 November 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Qantaslink Seat Map Boeing 717-200 125 Economy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 November 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  12. ^ "Qantaslink Seat Map Dash 8 Q200 36 Economy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 November 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  13. ^ "Qantaslink Seat Map Dash 8 Q300 50 Economy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 November 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  14. ^ "Qantaslink Seat Map Dash 8 Q400 74 Economy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  15. ^ a b "QANTAS AND JETSTAR MEET STRONG DOMESTIC DEMAND WITH MORE AIRCRAFT, FLIGHTS". Qantas. 17 June 2021. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  16. ^ "Qantaslink Seat Map Fokker 100 100 Economy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 November 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2001.
  17. ^ "Qantas to offer direct flights to Kangaroo Island in tourism boost". 5 June 2017. Archived from the original on 18 June 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  18. ^ "The Advertiser - Latest Adelaide and South Australia News - The Advertiser". www.news.com.au. Archived from the original on 11 December 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  19. ^ "Bigger is better: Qantas introduces 72 seater". Northern Daily Leader. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  20. ^ Creedy, Steve (19 March 2010). "QantasLink seeks openings for young fleet". The Australian.
  21. ^ "QANTASLINK ADDS WHYALLA TO ITS MAP". www.qantasnewsroom.com.au (Press release). Archived from the original on 23 July 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  22. ^ "Network Aviation becomes QantasLink". australianaviation.com.au. Archived from the original on 9 November 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  23. ^ "QantasLink boosts Toowoomba service with two extra flights - Australian Aviation". australianaviation.com.au. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  24. ^ "Alliance delivers Fokker 100 to QantasLink". Australian Aviation. 13 July 2016. Archived from the original on 14 July 2016.
  25. ^ "Qantas Is Now Operating 5 Embraer E190s From Alliance Airlines". Simple Flying. 1 June 2021. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  26. ^ "From the beach to the bush". 1 July 2020. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  27. ^ "From the beach to the bush". 1 July 2020. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  28. ^ https://australianaviation.com.au/2021/11/rex-snags-regulated-qld-regional-routes-from-qantas/
  29. ^ https://australianaviation.com.au/2021/11/rex-snags-regulated-qld-regional-routes-from-qantas/
  30. ^ "AIRPORT TAKES FLIGHT WITH QANTAS DEAL" (Press release). Qantas Airways Limited. 3 September 2014. Archived from the original on 4 March 2015.
  31. ^ "New Qantas service to fly from Bendigo to Sydney six days a week". Bendigo Advertiser. 10 December 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  32. ^ https://australianaviation.com.au/2021/11/rex-snags-regulated-qld-regional-routes-from-qantas/

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