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QF to use JQ A320s to Fortescue mines

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QF to use JQ A320s to Fortescue mines

Old 14th Oct 2014, 23:42
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QF to use JQ A320s to Fortescue mines

My google alerts today had a headline from 'The Australian' saying that Qantas have announced that they will "...for the first time..." use Jetstar A320s on two Fortescue metals runs.

I couldn't open the article because it is a subscription-only article.

If anyone knows more, please fill us in.
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Old 15th Oct 2014, 00:06
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QANTAS will for the first time use low-cost offshoot Jetstar to service a resources contract when it starts flying Airbus A320s to two Fortescue Metals Group mines in Western Australia later this year.

The A320s will allow Fortescue to use bigger aircraft to service its Solomon and Cloudbreak mines, reducing the number of flights to the Pilbara sites.

While the airline was responding to a specific customer request, it has not ruled out using its low-cost offshoot in other charters if needed. This allows it to get more workers to the mine in one shot as well as reduce aircraft availability issues and the dependence on slots at Perth Airport. It also allows Jetstar to boost aircraft utilisation at a quieter time of the week.

“The introduction of the A320s is another example of where Qantas has worked with us to capture further efficiencies for our Cloudbreak and Solomon operations,’’ said Fortescue Metal’s head of infrastructure services, Steve Fewster.

“By introducing the A320s we can move entire operations crews together and optimise the slot times we have at Perth Airport. Coming into the wet season, the ability to fly A320s into Cloudbreak and Solomon will also further improve our resilience.”

At 180 seats, the Jetstar A320 has better capacity than the 100-seater Fokker 100 and 125-seat QantasLink Boeing 717s currently being used to service the two mines. It is also bigger than the 168-seat Boeing 737-800s Qantas uses in conjunction with F100s to service another Fortescue site at Christmas Creek.

The Jetstar planes will fly Tuesday to Thursday from December to cater for peak shift swaps at the mines, something the airline says has low impact on its operations because there is generally more flying on weekends when leisure passengers travel.

Qantas head of sales, marketing and distribution Steve Limbrick said it was a case of Qantas working with customers to put the right aircraft on the right routes at the right time.

“It’s great that we’ve been able to look outside the square to meet the needs of our customer,’’ Mr Limbrick said. “They requested a larger aircraft in order to drive their own operational efficiencies, and we have the flexibility in our fleet to deliver what they require.

“We looked at the total Qantas Group fleet and how we could deliver a larger jet aircraft.’’

Both Qantas and Virgin Australia have boosted their footprint in the resources industry.

Qantas acquired Network Aviation in 2010 and has expanded its presence and now has about 30 per cent of the West Australian charter market. Network employs 300 people and operates a fleet of 12 F100s equipped with the latest navigation systems to allow them to land at remote mine sites in bad weather or poor light.

Virgin Australia acquired Perth-based Skywest in 2013 with a similar objective of snaring a bigger share of the resources market.
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Old 15th Oct 2014, 00:47
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Perth based Tech Crew

Offshore Cabin Crew due Charter not RPT

PER to BME not far behind

KTA to DPS very close

QF KTA LAMES on A320 training
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Old 15th Oct 2014, 01:38
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That's great news for the Perth based pilots.
Recently losing Lombok and not replacing it would have put pressure on the base.

It's just the start really. As the SMH hinted, with the retirement of the 767 for Qantas, seat capacity will reduce by 459, meanwhile Jetstar increase by 540.

It's all been one way traffic for a while. It's seems to be set to continue.
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Old 15th Oct 2014, 02:49
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Is the A320 really "bigger" than a 73-8, or do JQ just squeeze more folk in?
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Old 15th Oct 2014, 02:51
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All Economy, no 5 rows of business like the 738
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Old 15th Oct 2014, 03:04
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3 rows of business on the QF 738. 12 seats where they could instead have 24ish economy.
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Old 15th Oct 2014, 03:28
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That's great news for the Perth based pilots.
.....of Jetstar aircraft. Probably not quite so exciting for Qantas Perth based pilots.

The cynic in me thinks this would generate substantial profit for Jetstar and significant local operational loss (in monetary terms) for Qantas if previous experience is any guide.
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Old 15th Oct 2014, 03:55
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the group adjusts to meet a clients requirements to keep the cash going to QF hands (virgin run A320s) and it's all bad news

spare capacity maybe the 738 can enjoy a back of the clock bali return
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Old 15th Oct 2014, 03:58
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Probably not quite so exciting for Qantas Perth based pilots.
I'd be more worried if I were a Network pilot personally, it's their route. As far as I know Qantas the mainline never flew to these destinations.
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Old 15th Oct 2014, 04:19
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I'd be more worried if I was a Q400 pilot in PER. Means that there will be 2 F100's spare. Network recently put a few more ports on their AOC. How's the utilisation of those 2 400's going?

Or possibly move some B717's to the East Coast to do BNE-TSV/CNS.

QF/QLink keep saying nothing is off the table.
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Old 15th Oct 2014, 04:58
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I've definitely heard Mainline 737s at Christmas Creek. Not sure if it was a once off or one of their regular charters.
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Old 15th Oct 2014, 05:24
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Its not for Christmas Creek it is for Solomon and Cloudbreak (Dave Forrest).
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Old 15th Oct 2014, 08:22
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I think the title of this thread is misleading. JQ are using JQ jets for FMG. JQ won a 5 year contract.

I believe domestic JQ crew will crew it. International crew can't operate domestically as far as I'm aware.

Makes sense when the competition are running A320s (albeit ancient ones) too.

It'll be an interesting flight deck on the F100s when JQ crew are jumpseating on familiarity flights. I hope professionalism rules supreme.
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Old 15th Oct 2014, 09:00
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whatever the case, i hope jq arent undercutting incumbents just to give those operational spares something to do.
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Old 15th Oct 2014, 09:29
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TGG, not quite right. It is a contract that Qantas has with FMG, and they are essentially wet-leasing the aircraft from JQ with crew and all the bells and whistles. Same as Qantas using Cobham-operated 717s.

A source in the know told me a while back that the A320 is better suited to some mines with narrower runways over the 738s, hence why VARA will hold on to theirs for some time.
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Old 15th Oct 2014, 09:31
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It'll be an interesting flight deck on the F100s when JQ crew are jumpseating on familiarity flights.
Charter, no Physical Insertion required.
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Old 15th Oct 2014, 09:41
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whatever the case, i hope jq arent undercutting incumbents just to give those operational spares something to do.
QF asked JQ as JQ had the aircraft FMG required, it's a QF (group) contract. I think JQ reluctantly abliged QF's request, this isn't JQ's doman and it isn't as simple as "yeah let's take a 320 into a mine site", months of work has gone into this startup. Once JQ are up and running I quess the flood gates could open?
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Old 15th Oct 2014, 10:08
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Jetstar have a lot of very experienced pilots who cut their aviation teeth flying to remote WA airports in jets. I don't think they will be needing to ride in the jump seat of anything to get this going.
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Old 15th Oct 2014, 10:44
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I've definitely heard Mainline 737s at Christmas Creek. Not sure if it was a once off or one of their regular charters.
QF B738s do double daily charters to Christmas Creek Mon-Fri.

This route, despite also being an FMG charter, is safe for now.
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