Qantas and Australia Post are to operate a dedicated domestic freighter network to be used exclusively by Australia Post and StarTrack customers – which is being started to focus on e-commerce and the express freight market.
The network will consist of six freighter aircraft featuring StarTrack livery, with continued priority access to cargo space in the Qantas Group’s passenger fleet.
To be launched in July this year – the network is part of the five year contract, with a value in excess of $500 million Australian ($374 million) signed last year for the transport of Australia Post’s domestic mail, parcels and Express Post until mid-2020.
From July 2016, the network will service nine destinations across the East and West coast of Australia using one Boeing 737-400 (an additional aircraft to be operated by by Express Freighters Australia), two 737-300s (part of existing Qantas Freight fleet) and three BAE146-300 (part of existing Qantas Freight fleet). Including the additional 737-400, Qantas Freight will have a total of 14 aircraft.
Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce says the new arrangement focused on providing a fast, reliable and more efficient service to Australia Post and StarTrack. “We’re thrilled to provide Australia Post with a dedicated freighter network for their domestic customers. This builds on the strong relationship that has existed between the national carrier and the nation’s postal service since 1922 when Qantas first started flying airmail,” says Joyce.
“Our transformation program has sharpened the efficiency and flexibility of our freight business, and sharing these benefits with customers is part of our competitive edge. Our focus in designing this agreement is to help our biggest freight customer better coordinate their supply chain and ultimately deliver a better service to their customers.
“Scale is a unique part of what we offer. Qantas Freight offers access to the collective belly-space on domestic Qantas and Jetstar passenger flights as well as eight freighter aircraft in addition to the Australia Post dedicated freighter network. This network, combined with the strength of our partnership and interline agreements, gives Qantas Freight significant network reach to more than 500 international and 80 domestic destinations,” adds Joyce.
Australia Post managing director and group chief executive officer (CEO), Ahmed Fahour says the dedicated Qantas freighters would further strengthen the extensive delivery and logistics network that underpins both Australia Post and StarTrack.
“The dedicated domestic air-freighter network – featuring our StarTrack-branded planes – is our latest milestone in delivering a world-class parcels, freight and logistics network that meets the e-commerce needs of Australian businesses and consumers and connects them to global opportunities,” Fahour adds.