Qantas and Jetstar to become first operators at new Western Sydney airport

Jetstar & Qantas 787 Dreamliner at Sydney Airport
Bidgee, CC BY-SA 3.0 AU, via Wikimedia Commons
Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read

Qantas and Jetstar are to become the first airlines to fly from Sydney’s new Western Sydney International Airport when it opens in 2026.

The two Australian airlines will operate a network of domestic flights from the airport, connecting it to major cities and regional destinations across Australia.

New airport for Sydney

The Western Sydney International Airport (also known as Badgerys Creek Airport) is to be completed in 2026 and will be located in the western suburb of Badgerys Creek, approximately 50 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district.

The new airport is expected to handle up to 80 million passengers per year by 2060, which will help to relieve congestion at Sydney’s current airport, Kingsford Smith Airport. The airport is also expected to create thousands of jobs during construction and operation.

The construction of the new airport has been met with some opposition from local residents, who are concerned about the impact of the airport on noise, traffic, and air quality. However, the government has said that the airport will be built with the environment in mind and that it will take steps to mitigate the impact on local residents.

Photo Credit: Rekahn000, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The new airport is a major infrastructure project for Sydney and is expected to have a significant impact on the city’s economy and environment.

Today, the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King joined senior executives from Western Sydney Airport and Qantas on a tour of the airport’s construction, which is now more than 50 per cent complete.

Photo Credit: MDRX, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Qantas capacity plans

The Qantas Group is planning to operate up to 15 narrowbody aircraft – 10 Jetstar and five Qantas – from what will become formally known as Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport (WSI) within the first year.

Qantas and its subsidiary airline Jetstar will be operating domestic routes such as Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

It is expected these aircraft will carry around four million passengers through WSI per annum on more than 25,000 flights. Around 700 operational jobs are expected to be needed, with local recruitment to take place in the lead up to the first flights.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the national carrier was proud to sign an agreement with Western Sydney International Airport, which is on track to become the sixth biggest airport for the Group within its first year of operation.

“In just over three years Qantas and Jetstar will take off from Western Sydney connecting one of Australia’s fastest growing areas through direct flights across the country,” Mr Joyce said.

“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,” Mr Joyce added.

Growth potential for new airport

WSI CEO Simon Hickey said the agreement sends an incredibly powerful signal globally about the strength of WSI’s offering for airlines and passengers.

“This is a substantial Qantas and Jetstar presence at Sydney’s new major airport,” Mr Hickey said. “We’re enabling WSI with the latest technology, which will deliver an easier and more seamless travel experience.

“Qantas and Jetstar passengers are going to love flying from WSI and we can’t wait to welcome them.

“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.”

The airport management and the Qantas Group are currently in discussions on international and freight operations at WSI

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