Qantas today announced its intention to lease a Boeing 747-400ERF freighter aircraft for its global freight business.
The aircraft will replace an older Boeing 747-400F freighter that is currently operated on Qantas’ behalf by an external provider.
Qantas Freight Enterprises Executive Manager Lisa Brock said the replacement aircraft offered greater capacity and range, and would deliver increased efficiency.
“With an existing lease arrangement coming to an end we have taken this opportunity to update our international fleet,” said Ms Brock.
“This is a near-new freighter aircraft that will help us provide a better service for our customers and reduce costs.
“Qantas Freight now has a five per cent share of the cargo market from China to the United States, flying from both Shanghai and Chongqing. We have a strong presence in other parts of Asia and New Zealand, and our investment in this aircraft underlines our commitment to these regions.
“It complements the restructure of Qantas Freight in the domestic market – following our acquisition of Australian air Express – as we work to strengthen our cargo business at all levels,” added Ms Brock.
Branded in distinctive new Qantas Freight livery, the Boeing 747-400ERF is expected to enter service by the end of 2013, subject to regulatory approval. It will be operated by Express Freighters Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qantas Freight.
Qantas Freight has a fleet of 13 freighter aircraft including three B747-400F aircraft, one B767-300F aircraft, four B737-300CF aircraft, four BaE146 type aircraft and one SAAB 340. Qantas Freight also carries freight on Qantas and Jetstar domestic and international passenger services.