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Qantas and Perth Airport sign landmark deal

The alliance signals an end to the pair's long-running dispute, Janie Medbury writes.

QANTAS and Perth Airport have signed a historic commercial agreement, which will see the WA hub spend around $3 billion on new terminal facilities and a parallel runway.

In what marks Qantas Group’s biggest-ever airport infrastructure deal, Qantas and Jetstar will relocate all services to the Airport Central precinct, which will see both carriers add 4.4 million seats to and from Perth annually by the time the new terminal opens in 2031.

Perth Airport will also construct a new runway, due to come online in 2028.

The decision comes after WA Tourism Minister Rita Saffioti voiced her hopes for the long-running quarrel between Perth Airport and Qantas to be laid to rest in light of Vanessa Hudson’s appointment as the airline’s CEO last year.

Perth Airport with the State Government had been campaigning for Qantas to operate out of Airport Central, however the carrier insisted on an upgrade to Terminals 3 and 4 instead.

At one point, the stale mate led to former WA Tourism Minister Roger Cook accusing the Flying Kangaroo of “holding Western Australia back”.

Upon announcing the new deal today, Hudson said the pair will work together to “create a world-class western hub and significantly expand our domestic and international services over the short, medium and long term”.

“Not only will it allow us to bring hundreds of thousands more travellers to and through Western Australia each year, it will also make it easier for overseas tourists to connect to more destinations across Australia.

“Perth-London and Perth-Rome are two of the most popular flights on our international network, which gives us confidence in our strategy to ramp up WA flying over the next few years as we receive new aircraft and grow our fleet.”

As part of the new agreement, Qantas will work with the airport on plans for a multi-lounge precinct for international and domestic passengers, featuring a new signature design and bespoke dining and wellness initiatives.

Perth Airport will also invest in upgrades to Terminals 3 and 4, the current home of Qantas domestic and international flights, to create additional capacity while the new terminals are built.

Jetstar will relocate its domestic services to Terminal 2 from September 2024, before moving into the Airport Central terminal once the facility is ready.

The changes are part of Perth Airport’s $5 billion capital investment program, which will also deliver two multi-storey carparks, major access roadworks, and the airport’s first hotel.

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