The Role of Freighter Aircraft in a Full-Service Network Airline Air Freight Services: The Case of Qantas Freight


  • Glenn Baxter Suan Dusit University
  • Panarat Srisaeng Suan Dusit University
  • Graham Wild RMIT University



Air Freight, Air Services Agreement, Airline Route Networks, Case Study, Freighter Aircraft, Qantas Freight


The dedicated all-cargo aircraft market is vital to the global economy. Freighter aircraft now carry around 56 per cent of world air cargo traffic. Using an in-depth case study research design, this study examined the Qantas Freight Boeing B747-400 and B767-300 freighter aircraft route network design during the 2017/2018 Northern Winter Flight schedule period, which was in effect from the 29th October 2017 to March 24th, 2018. The qualitative data were examined by document analysis. The study found that Qantas Freight deploy their leased B747-400 freighter aircraft on a route network that originates in Sydney and incorporates key markets in Thailand and China with major markets in the United States. The Boeing B767-300 freighter aircraft operated 5 services per week on a Sydney/Auckland/Christchurch/Sydney routing as a well as a weekly Sydney/Hong Kong/Sydney service. The Boeing B747-400 freighter services could generate 114,755,020 available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs) over the schedule period. The Boeing B767-300 freighter aircraft could generate 46,974,1440 AFTKs. The Qantas Freight route network and freighter fleet is underpinned by Australia’s liberalized freighter aircraft policy, the “Open Skies” agreement between Australia and China – which permits the onward carriage of cargo traffic across the trans-Pacific – and the liberalized “open skies” agreement with New Zealand.

Author Biography

Glenn Baxter, Suan Dusit University

Associate Research Fellow


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