Australia Post and Qantas have signed an expanded domestic and international air freight agreement to support the growing demand for parcels, which the two companies said will benefit online shoppers and businesses across Australia by increasing capacity and providing greater network flexibility to meet customer expectations.
The seven-year agreement valued at over A$1 billion will give Australia Post customers access to Qantas Freight’s dedicated freighter aircraft and priority access to the cargo space on up to
1,500 Qantas and Jetstar passenger flights to over 110 destinations each day, in addition to space on partner airlines globally.
The partnership will also introduce up to three Airbus A321P2Fs freighters to the cargo network used for Australia Post. Qantas will be the first airline in the world to operate the A321 as a freighter aircraft.
The agreement will “take the e-Commerce business to new heights,” Holgate
Each A321P2F will add nearly 50% more capacity - or an additional nine tonnes - compared to the existing Boeing 737 freighters, with the first A321P2F due to enter the fleet in October 2020.
“Australia Post plays a critical role connecting Australian businesses and communities to each other and the rest of the world, and with the continued growth in online shopping, we can now take it to new heights,” Christine Holgate, CEO and Managing Director, Australia Post, said, adding that “This agreement will further boost our dedicated air freighter network with newer aircraft and more capacity right up until the opening of the new Western Sydney airport in 2026."
Vote of confidence
Australia Post last year flew more than 400 tonnes of mail on its busiest night, and more than 40 million parcels during December. Ms Holgate said she expects to exceed both those targets this year.”
Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce, said the seven-year agreement was a vote of confidence in the future growth in eCommerce and will support the rising demand for next-day delivery.
“Consumer preferences and expectations are rapidly changing and together with Australia Post we are responding by growing our dedicated freighter fleet to provide a better experience for consumers and businesses,” Mr Joyce said.
China Post opens new routes from its Nanjing gateway
The partnership between Australia Post and Qantas dates back to when the national carrier first started flying airmail for the postal service in 1922.
In another development, China Postal last week took delivery of its first 737-800BCF on lease from BBAM. It is the first of ten 737-800BCF conversions the air arm of China Post has committed to as part of an agreement with Boeing which was signed in 2015.
In a statement, China Post said the longer range and greater capacity of the aircraft, compared to its 737-300Fs and -400Fs, will enable it to open new routes from its Nanjing hub.
Nol van Fenema