Fri, Mar 30, 2007
Purchases More A320s; Mainline Operation Moves 767 To Domestic
Australian carrier Qantas -- involved in a full blown war
between its low cost JetStar subsidiary, and rivals Virgin Blue and
newcomer Tiger Airways -- made a move Thursday to assert dominance
in the segment.
The airline committed to buy an additional nine Airbus A320s at
a cost of over $600 million US, on top of its December order for
four Airbus A330-200s and eight Airbus A380 superjumbos. Qantas CEO
Geoff Dixon said the deliveries, along with some further shuffling
of its mainline fleet, will boost both Jetstar's position against
its rivals, as well as Qantas' domestic operations.
"Four Boeing 767-300 aircraft from our international fleet that
were due to be sold from mid-2007 will now be transferred to
domestic operations," said Dixon (shown below). "The additional
capacity for both Jetstar and Qantas, along with previously announced plans for
QantasLink, should enable the Qantas Group to maintain
its 65 per cent share of the Australian domestic market."
Dixon has also asserted the additional aircraft will allow
Jetstar to grow some of its most popular leisure routes, including
Cairns, Gold Coast, Perth and the Northern Territory.
"Jetstar will also use the new aircraft to look at new
destinations within Australia," said Dixon.
The purchase comes as a controversial takeover bid
for Qantas is due to close next month. Reuters reports the
takeover bid by Airline Partners Australia Consortium remains
uncertain, after a key shareholder said last week it would vote
against the offer.
The consortium is now talking to banks financing the deal, about
whether it can drop a 90-percent acceptance condition on the
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