Qantas Airways buys 9 Airbus A320 aircraft for budget carrier Jetstar

Sydney (XFN-ASIA) - Qantas Airways Ltd said it plans to acquire

nine additional Airbus A320 aircraft for use by its budget carrier Jetstar.

The new aircraft will deployed on domestic and short-haul international routes for Jetstar, expanding some of the popular leisure routes including Cairns, Gold Coast, Perth and the Northern Territory as well as new destinations within Australia.

Chief executive Geoff Dixon said the aircraft will be delivered over a 15-month period from late 2007, while plans are afoot to boost capacity in the Qantas domestic operations.

He said four Boeing 767-300 aircraft from the international fleet that were due to be sold from mid-2007 will now be transferred to domestic operations.

"The additional capacity for both Jetstar and Qantas, along with previously announced plans for QantasLink, should enable the Qantas Group to maintain its 65 pct share of the Australian domestic market," Dixon said.

On Tuesday, the flag carrier announced plans to increase its New York flights from five a week to a daily service from August 14.

The Australian flag carrier will now have 35 flights per week to Los Angeles, with an additional three flights per week between June 19-July 28 for the peak holiday period, seven flights to New York via Los Angeles, five flights to San Francisco and three flights per week to Honolulu.

Qantas also said it planned to operate three flights per week to Vancouver via San Francisco between June 13-Aug 12.

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