Surging intrastate traffic at Perth Airport has prompted QantasLink to add four more 180-seat Airbus A320 aircraft to its fleet in WA to meet demand from the resources market and tourist traffic.
The number of intrastate passengers through the airport rose 20 per cent last month compared to the same period last year, 347,584. That was a 7 per cent increase on January figures.
In the final six months of 2021, 2.55 million people flew around the State — an increase of 17 percent over the same time one year earlier.
The A320 aircraft will be progressively redeployed from Jetstar as that airline receives new Airbus A321LR aircraft.
QantasLink received its first A320 in 2018 and these extra aircraft will bring the total number based in WA to 15 by mid-2023.
Those A320s are supported by 18, 100-seat Fokker 100 jets and a varying number of Boeing 737s.
While they will predominantly be used to cater for the fly-in fly-out resources market, they will also give the airline flexibility to increase capacity on some passenger services across the state, particularly at weekends.
QantasLink chief executive John Gissing said the airline had “seen continued strength in the resource market, which has given us the confidence to continue to expand our fleet”.
“The A320s are really well suited to WA conditions, found in many of the resources towns we regularly fly to,” he said.
“Since we started adding A320s to our QantasLink fleet we’ve had a great response from our customers.”
The airline has also added in-flight entertainment to the aircraft, delivered via passengers’ devices.
Virgin Australia late last year announced it would add two A320s to its fleet of five complementing its 11 Fokker 100s.
Brisbane-based Alliance Airlines has also moved more of its 35-strong Fokker 100s to Perth to cope with demand. The airline services FIFO destinations across Australia and also operates services for other airlines.