23 February 2011
Qantas will redeploy internationally configured wide-body aircraft, including Boeing 747 jumbos on routes between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, increasing domestic capacity by 15%, or more than 4300 seats each week.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce told the Sydney Morning Herald the move to use international planes domestically was "a direct response to the growing demand for travel to Perth, particularly from business passengers".
"Our competitors can simply not match the service that Qantas offers, particularly the ’skybeds’, which provide increased comfort on the longer routes between the eastern states and Perth," Mr Joyce said.
It is thought the move is largely in response to rival carrier Virgin Blue’s decision to launch a revamped business class proposition on cross-country routes in two week’s time.
Qantas business passengers flying between Sydney and Perth will have access to Skybed Business Class seats usually reserved for aircraft on the international network, with passengers in both cabins having personal in-flight entertainment options.
Services to Sydney and Perth will operate six round trips a week on B747-400 aircraft from May and internationally configured Airbus A330 services will increase from three to five round trips per week.
Between Melbourne and Perth three new services operated by internationally configured A330 aircraft with Skybed Business Class seats will be added each week and Qantas’ new A330s will be reconfigured to provide more space.
Between Brisbane and Perth domestic wide-body A330-200 services will be introduced on seven round trips a week in addition to the upgrading of six round trip B737 services with wide-body aircraft.