Adelaide will be the home of five Embraer E190 aircraft as Qantas continues to boost domestic flights in response to growing leisure and corporate travel demand.
The E190s are 94-seat jets with a five-hour range which are being deployed on Qantas’ network as part of a three-year deal with Alliance Airlines. The deal provides the national carrier with the capacity provided by up to 14 jet aircraft, depending on market conditions. Today’s announcement brings the number of aircraft activated as part of the agreement to eight.
Basing these five aircraft in Adelaide will bring an additional 200 jobs to the State, including pilots, cabin crew and engineers recruited by Alliance. It was secured with the support of the South Australian Government and Adelaide Airport.
The aircraft will be painted in QantasLink livery and will help Qantas to grow its domestic capacity to 107 per cent of pre-COVID levels in FY22. Jetstar is expected to reach 120 per cent of its pre-COVID capacity as the only dedicated low cost carrier in Australia and the uptick in local leisure demand.
The decision means Qantas will launch a new Adelaide-Gold Coast service in time for the winter school holidays.
From 25 June, South Australians will be able to fly direct to the Gold Coast with Qantas, with four return services per week, increasing to daily during school holiday peaks. To celebrate the launch Qantas is offering special fares from $149 one-way*.
A number of additional routes from Adelaide will be announced in the coming weeks.
Qantas will also begin flying between Darwin and Canberra using E190 aircraft from 21 June.
The two new routes bring the total number Qantas and Jetstar have announced since the start of the pandemic to 38, responding to the fact more Australians are holidaying domestically.
The five E190 aircraft can carry almost 1 million additional passengers to-and-from Adelaide each year.
The use of E190s will also free up Qantas’ Boeing 737 aircraft to be redeployed across the domestic network. All Qantas domestic crew have returned to flying.
Qantas is also today announcing a number of capacity increases for South Australia, including an additional daily return flight from Adelaide to Sydney and Melbourne.
The national carrier will also more than double services between Adelaide and Mt Gambier from five to 12 flights per week from 1 July. The services are timed to make it possible for travellers to make same-day return trips in both directions.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, who was at Adelaide Airport with South Australian Premier Steve Marshall and Alliance Airlines Managing Director Scott McMillan, said the E190s were well suited to linking capital cities and regional centres.
“Basing these aircraft in Adelaide means we can service South Australia better and help bring more visitors to the State,” Mr Joyce said.
“The E190 is a great aircraft for the Adelaide market, with its size, range and economics opening up a number of new destinations that wouldn’t be viable with the larger 737 aircraft,” Mr Joyce said.
“Instead of one or two flights a day with a larger aircraft, we can offer three or four flights a day on the E190, which gives customers a lot more choice about when they travel.
“We’re continuing to see really positive signs of sustained recovery, with strong travel demand and forward bookings expected to see our domestic capacity back above 100 per cent of pre-COVID levels in the coming months. That’s great progress when you consider we were as low as 20 per cent of our normal flying levels at the height of lockdown.
“The return to flying has huge flow on benefits, helping to boost tourism which is so vital to local economies and businesses around the country,” added Mr Joyce.
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said: “The establishment of an Embraer E190 aircraft base is a shot in the arm for the South Australian aviation industry.”
“The base will create aviation and maintenance jobs, increase tourism and position Adelaide as Australia’s regional aviation hub.
“These are important priorities for our state’s economic development and represent a strong step forward in creating direct regional and international aviation connectivity.”
Alliance Airlines Managing Director Scott McMillian said: “Alliance is excited to be involved in further expansion of services from Adelaide.
“The increase in our wet lease operations for Qantas will grow our existing Adelaide base and provide additional employment opportunities for new and existing South Australian staff.”
Qantas’ Fly Flexible policy offers customers who book flights before 31 July 2021 added flexibility with unlimited fee free date changes when travelling before 28 February 2022. (A fare difference may apply).
*Available at qantas.com or through Travel Agents, until 11:59pm 9 May 2021, unless sold out prior.