Qantas farewells historic 717 while welcoming two new aircraft to fleet

Qantas farewells historic 717 while welcoming two new aircraft to fleet

The departure of Qantas’ first ever registered Boeing 717, named Blue Mountains, will mark the end of an era for the carrier as it prepares to bolster its stocks of modern aircraft.

The departing 717 (registration VH-NXI) holds a special place in the Qantas Group’s modern history, having operated Jetstar’s first flight between Melbourne and Launceston on the day the airline started flying in May 2004.

Blue Mountains also flew regional domestic routes for Qantas for the past 15 years, totalling over 29,000 flights and carrying more than 1.6 million passengers for Qantas and Jetstar over two decades.

Named after the world-heritage listed national park in New South Wales, the aircraft has been sold to a major carrier in North America in mid June and will require eight fuel stops along the journey.

All of QantasLink’s 20 Boeing 717s will be gradually replaced by 29 fuel efficient Airbus A220 aircraft as part of the “Project Winton” fleet renewal program.

Out with the old, in with the new

As the flying kangaroo prepares to said goodbye to the historic 717, it welcomed two new arrivals to its fleet, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner and A321 neo LR which will fly for Jetstar.

“It’s the end of an era for these Boeing 717s which have played a crucial role in connecting Australians across our domestic and regional network for more than two decades,” CEO, Qantas, Alan Joyce, said.

“It’s fitting that the very first 717 to be registered in this country is making way for another brand-new fleet type, the A220, which can operate double the range of the 717s opening up new domestic and short-haul international routes.”

The new aircrafts are part of a significant investment in fleet renewal that will see Qantas group take delivery of a new aircraft every three weeks on average in years to come, helping both Qantas and Jetstar restore capacity and expand their respective networks as well as lowering emissions and improving efficiency.

The A321 neo LR is a revolutionary aircraft from the Airbus company that operates 50 per cent quieter than its predecessor and burns up to 20 per cent less fuel and is seen as the key to a sustainable future for Jetstar.


Featured Image: Qantas’ Blue Mountains Dreamliner. (Source Travel News Asia).

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