BY JAMES WILKINSON
The Qantas Group has announced an upgrade in Australian capacity during 2012 and 2013 as the airline aims to retain its 65 per cent domestic market share.
Qantas’ move comes as Virgin Australia prepares to ramp up its domestic operations – particularly trans-continental flights to Perth – following the delivery of its third and fourth Airbus A330-200 aircraft fresh from the factory in Toulouse, France.
Measures put in place for 2012 and 2013 by Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce include upgrading a number of Sydney-Perth flights to Boeing 747-400s and increasing the number of Airbus A330 aircraft operating between Melbourne and Perth.
Jetstar will also see increases in capacity, as will QantasLink and fly-in fly-out airline Network Aviation.
“The Qantas Group’s portfolio of airlines and the 8.5 million-member Qantas Frequent Flyer program give us a clear advantage over our competitors,” he said.
“With Qantas we are targeting our key east coast and east-west business markets – providing an international-standard flying experience on Perth services operated by the Boeing 747 and Airbus A330.
“Jetstar continues to focus on servicing important leisure markets and pursuing growth opportunities across Australia, with significant capacity increases planned on major routes.
“Over recent years we have invested consistently in our domestic operations, with fleet renewal for both Qantas and Jetstar, the launch of cutting-edge new check-in technology, the acquisition of Network Aviation to serve the resources market and the trial of the ‘Q Streaming’ WiFi inflight entertainment system.
“Our corporate customers and frequent flyers have responded positively – we are now seeing the most sustained levels of high satisfaction in the domestic network since 2004.
“We also consistently lead in on-time performance, having outperformed our competitor in 12 out of the past 15 months.
“We know that network and frequency are key to customer satisfaction and the changes we are announcing today mean we will offer even better service in both areas.
“Our goal in the domestic market remains simple and consistent: we intend to retain the market share that enables us to maximise profit.
“Alongside a comprehensive transformation program for Qantas International and the continued growth of Jetstar in Asia, our robust domestic businesses position us strongly for sustainable growth over the long term.”
Joyce said the measures put in place would “ensure that the Group retains a profit-maximising 65% domestic market share while delivering the best customer experience in the market”.