Qantas launches budget international carrier

Qantas has today announced the launch of a budget international carrier called Australian Airlines.

Australian Airlines will commence operations in the third quarter of 2002 between Cairns and six Asian destinations; Osaka, Nagoya, Singapore, Taipei, Hong Kong and Fukuoka. Initially there will be four planes all flying out of Cairns with Qantas planning to extend the network to all mainland Australian capital cities over the following two years. Australian Airlines will not operate on any of the same routes as Qantas and is expected to offer flights mainly to Asian and Pacific destinations.

The airline will not offer ‘discount' fares but will offer fares at the lower end of the existing ticket price range, for example between $650 and $800 for a return fare to Singapore.

Australian Airlines will join the Qantas Frequent Flyer program as well as seek membership of the oneworld network. This will mean passengers can earn and use Qantas Frequent Flyers points on both Qantas and Australian Airlines flights.

The budget airline will be wholly-owned by Qantas but will operate independently with separate management.

For more information visit the Qantas website.