QANTAS/JETSTAR: First to fly from Western Sydney International Airport
Let’s start with the obvious – when has an airport ever opened by its predicted due date? Exactly. So I’m thinking Western Sydney International Airport (WSI) might open sometime in 2027? The alternate view expressed by the builders is that they are currently on schedule . . .
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How Qantas will start out
The Qantas Group plans to run both its brands, Qantas and Jetstar out of the new WSI airport once it opens, with a total of up to 15 narrowbody aircraft. 10 will be Jetstar and 5 Qantas. Despite International in the airport’s title, Qantas and Jetstar will only run domestic flights, predicted to be Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
“As we take delivery of more aircraft and expand our fleet, we see Western Sydney Airport as a significant growth opportunity for the Group, which will complement our existing operations in the Sydney basin and nationally.
“Western Sydney International Airport has some big strategic advantages with no curfew, technology that allows aircraft to be turned around quickly and a next-generation baggage system.
“Our data shows that more than two million trips per year are taken by people who live in the Western Sydney catchment so we know there will be demand for these flights from day one. Jetstar has a long history of stimulating demand when it starts flying to new destinations through low fares, so expect to see some great value travel options.”Alan Joyce, Qantas Group CEO
And Joyce is right. With a significant population in Western Sydney and no curfew, the airport has some great advantages over SYD, which is plagued with restrictions including limited available slots. WSI will also bring with it jobs and businesses, and freight and growth. However, the new CEO of the Airport Simon Hickey, does go a bit hyperbolic with:
“WSI is being designed for growth and will eventually become Sydney’s biggest airport. We have a roadmap to grow to 82 million annual passengers, around the size of the world’s major airports, such as Dubai and London Heathrow.”Simon Hickey, CEO WSI
This is good news, but unsurprising. It’s a great market opportunity, especially for the budget market targeted Jetstar brand. WSI has great growth opportunities over time, but the rivalling Dubai comparison is a little wild, I think. Especially given that the government/Airport has not yet released aircraft movement plans and the resulting predicted noise patterns. There is some community concern, which may or may not become an issue for the airport.
WSI will be an airport servicing Sydney with the most modern technology, which should make it a joy to travel through. The downside is that the NSW Government is yet to commit to the public transport infrastructure to service the new Airport. Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn into the saga of Melbourne’s Tullamarine, where they have been waiting since 1962 for a train line, which has been further delayed in the last Victorian budget.