Qantas is removing aircraft capacity from Perth and will reconfigure two Boeing 717s with business class as it continues to adjust it network to take into account lower traffic in resources areas.
Both will be upgraded with a new interior and inflight entertainment system, bringing to 12 the number of QantasLink B717s fitted with the dual class configuration of 12 business and 98 economy seats.
One of the aircraft will be redeployed to Brisbane later this year to operate to Adelaide and Cairns. The other will be reconfigured in January and will used to replace planes undergoing scheduled maintenance on routes in Western Australia and the eastern states.
Qantas said the Brisbane move would free up a Boeing 737 currently operating the Adelaide and Cairns routes for use in other markets with more demand, including Melbourne-Sydney and Perth-Adelaide.
It said eight single-class B787s would remain in Perth and it would increase the utilisation of Fokker 100 aircraft to ensure flight frequencies on intra-WA routes were maintained.
The fall-off in resources traffic has seen the airline reduce the size of aircraft on a number of WA routes operating to the Pilbara and regional areas but the airline says it has maintained schedules to support customers
“Across our regional, domestic and international networks, we’re continuously focused on making sure we have the right aircraft on the right routes for our customers,’’ a Qantas spokeswoman said in a statement.
“By having the flexibility to move aircraft around the network we can manage changes in demand while continuing to support customers with the right schedule and product.
“The two-class 717 jets have proven very popular with customers. With two more aircraft upgraded to a dual class configuration we’ll be able to offer this product to more of our travellers across the network.’’
The aircraft will be reconfigured at QantasLink’s Canberra heavy maintenance base.