Qantas on post-COVID US airfreight

Qantas Boeing 787-9

“We’re incredibly proud of the role Qantas Freight has played in keeping critical supply chains between Australia and the USA open throughout the pandemic. Over the past 12 months, we’ve used our dedicated 747 Freighter network – where an additional wet-leased 747-400F joined our existing two 747-8F – as well as conducting freight-only flights using our Boeing 787-9 to ensure adequate capacity across the Pacific.

“Supported through the Australian Government’s International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM), these freight-only flights not only helped alleviate the shortage of cargo space but will also help us to ramp up passenger services faster when the Australian Government reopens our international borders.

“We expect this to occur later this year. While we expect that a return to pre-2020 demand will take some time, as Qantas passenger services return to the skies, so too will regular, direct freight capacity aboard our 787-9 passenger flights between key hubs such as San Francisco and Los Angeles with Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Since coming into service, our fleet of 787-9s have been able to provide up to 17 tonnes of freight capacity aboard fully laden USA-AUS services.

“We expect the strong increase in demand for temperature-controlled shipping of goods to continue beyond the pandemic on the back of continuing high demand for vaccines and other pharmaceuticals. In response, Qantas Freight has worked closely with providers of temperature-controlled and data logger units to ensure we have the required infrastructure and training in place across our ports to meet this demand. In anticipation of the gradual return to normality, we’ve also been trialling an online booking portal with select US-based customers, with a view to expanding the trial as progress is made.

The online booking function will make it easier for customers to self-manage their shipments, including booking, changes and cancellations.”