Qantas has almost completed its aircraft redeployments to boost its domestic capacity in the wake of the Ansett collapse.

Two former Ansett Boeing 767-300ERs have been wet-leased from Ansett Worldwide Aviation Services (AWAS) for two to three months. The aircraft were chosen instead of more readily available ex-Air Canada aircraft because they can be crewed by Australian-licensed pilots.

Negotiations for the Ansett aircraft were complicated by objections from the Qantas flight attendant union over AWAS cabin crew being deployed on domestic routes. The AWAS flight attendants have now been made temporary Qantas employees for the duration of the lease.

Three long-haul Boeing 747-400s and five 767-300s have been redeployed on to routes from Sydney to Cairns, Melbourne and Perth, .

The airline has added capacity on New Zealand domestic routes through wet-leasing a Polynesian Airlines 737-800, an Air Pacific 737-700 and an International Lease Finance owned 737-300. This has enabled Qantas' Boeing 737-300/400s to be switched to Australia.

Negotiations are under way with AWAS to place four more 737s-300s on damp leases in New Zealand, which would allow Qantas to return its remaining 737s to Australia. On that basis AWAS would use Australian pilots and its own NZ cabin crew.

Use of a 737-300 shared with Solomon Airlines has been increased.

Source: Flight International