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Qantas establishes dedicated freighter fleet for Australia Post

written by WOFA | May 2, 2016

Australia Post chief executive Ahmed Fahour and Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce in front of a StarTrack-branded 737 freighter. (Qantas)

Qantas is establishing a dedicated  sub-fleet of six freighter aircraft to deliver domestic mail, parcels and Express Post for Australia Post and its subsidiary StarTrack.

The fleet comprises two Boeing 737-300Fs and three BAe 146-300Fs from Qantas’s existing freighter fleet that will be joined by a new Boeing 737-400F, with the aircraft to branded with StarTrack livery.

From July the aircraft will operate to nine domestic destinations as part of a five-year contract signed in 2015 worth an estimated $500 million that sees Qantas contracted to transport Australia Post mail and parcels until mid-2020.

The dedicated freighter fleet – the 737s are operated by Qantas-owned Express Freighters Australia while the BAe 146s are operated for Qantas by Cobham Aviation Services – is in addition to Australia Post receiving priority access to the belly space in Qantas and Jetstar’s passenger fleet.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said Australia Post would benefit from the airline group’s scale and wide network reach.

“Our focus in designing this agreement is to help our biggest freight customer better coordinate their supply chain and ultimately deliver a better service to their customers,” Joyce said in a statement.

Qantas, Australia Post and StarTrack have a long history of cooperation. Qantas and Australia Post formed domestic air freight operator Australian air Express in 1992 as a 50:50 joint venture, while in 2003, again as 50:50 partners, they acquired courier delivery company Star Track Express. In 2012 Qantas sold its share of StarTrack to Australia Post, and in turn acquired Australia Post’s 50 per cent share in Australian air Express.


Meanwhile, Virgin Australia’s freight business, which was established in June 2015, recently signed TNT as a major customer, with dedicated freighter aircraft to serve the contract.


  • Adrian P


    The Royal Mail Hub at East Midlands Airport uses 11 aircraft to bring mail in for transfer to 75 major mail centres. Basically the aircraft fly in, swap their loads and fly out.

    So will the QANTAS aircraft be using Alice Springs for example as a hub in a similar way or fly point to point.

    I would of thought it better to use the aircraft sat on the stand every night not earning their keep than use a special fleet.

  • Rowan M


    @Adrian P – the pax fleet undergoes checks & basic line maintenance at night, hence why it doesn’t fly regular freight ops (other than the 4x weekly SYD-BNE)… and hence the need for dedicated freighters. Unlikely they’ll use a hubbing system for these flights as the mail for places like ASP etc which wouldn’t justify their own dedicated mail flights will continue to be carried as belly freight on the pax fleet.

  • Ben


    So we are basically back at the beginning again with AAe Mk2?

    BTW MEL Basically acts as a freight hub at night, given SYD has the curfew so nothing decently sized can get in there (so they get 3 146’s ex MEL instead of one 737-400F!). SYD flights go to and from MEL/BNE. BNE and PER go to MEL and then basically swap over and keep going to PER or BNE respectively.

  • Jack


    Adding to Rowans comment, the passenger aircraft also have a lot less space for cargo as they have to rely only on the bellies of the aircraft where’s they can use the full aircraft capacity of the dedicated cargo aircraft which are especially needed in peak times.

  • Brian


    Where is TOLL in this market?

  • Damian


    They should paint up at least one of the jets in 100% Star Track livery …….. Completely baby blue

  • Adrian P


    Modern aircraft require less maintenance, that is why Ryanair and Easyjet have modern fleets because they want their aircraft in the air not in the hangar.

    So where do Canberra, Darwin and Tasmania fit in with this.

  • gaga


    I can’t remember who did it (ansett?)but there used to be 727 combis here that worked all day carrying pax then at night, all the seats were taken out and it would do freight runs all night. In the morning the seats were put back in and the process would restart.

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