Qantas will acquire 14 more mid-life De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400 turboprops as part of fleet renewal efforts that will see its older Q200 and Q300 aircraft retired. 

The first of the 14 aircraft will enter regional unit QantasLink’s fleet by the end of the year, adding to its current inventory of 31 Dash 8-400s. In total, 19 Q200s and Q300s, all of which are more than 20 years old, will be retired.

QantasLink Q400-Alec Wilson Creative Commons

Source: Creative Commons

Qantas says the consolidation of its regional fleet around a single variant provides “further scale benefits and efficiencies for QantasLink, including lower maintenance and operating costs”. 

“At the completion of the fleet changes, there will be no material change to QantasLink’s overall turboprop capacity,” it adds. 

The 14 new Dash 8s will have a higher seat count than QantasLink’s existing -400s, at 78 seats compared to 74 currently. 

The turboprop replacement forms the final part of the Qantas Group’s fleet renewal plans: it is taking delivery of Airbus A220s which mainly replace its older Boeing 717s, and has A321neos, A350s and 787s on order. 

Qantas group chief Vanessa Hudson says: “QantasLink turboprops carry more than 3.5 million customers to more than 50 destinations around regional Australia every year, and these next-generation aircraft allow us to improve the travel experience with a faster and more comfortable experience.” 

She adds: “By consolidating our turboprops into a single fleet type, we’ll be able to further improve our reliability and provide a better recovery for our customers during disruptions as well as reducing complexity and cost for our operation.”

Story updated with details of the newly-acquired Dash 8s.