In the story on Qantas expanding its international network, we noted that Qantas were planning to wet lease two Finnair planes. Qantas is planning to use these aircraft between Sydney and Singapore, and Singapore and Bangkok.
In this article, we take a look at what this means. We’ll look at how the aircraft is configures, and what opportunities it may present to Qantas Frequent Flyers.
Qantas are planning to lease a pair of A330 aircraft from Finnair. The flights will be initially operating under a wet-lease arrangement. This will then switch to a dry lease.
As such, for the first two and a half years, while the aircraft will sport a Qantas flight number, it will be staffed by Finnair crew. Following that, it will change to a dry-lease arrangement, with Qantas staff crewing the flights.
To give you an idea of what you are in for, Qantas has published the following seat-map for the Finnair aircraft.
As can be seen, there are 28 Business, 21 Premium Economy and 230 Economy seats on the aircraft. For many Qantas passengers, this will be a bit of a treat, as the Business and Premium Economy seats will be Finnair’s latest iterations of the seats.
The Qantas flights that will feature these Finnair A330s will operate Singapore and Bangkok services from Sydney. Qantas have begun updating the schedules with these new aircraft.
- Starting October 29, 2023, QF291 will operate Sydney-Singapore and QF292 on Singapore-Sydney. These won’t operate every day, and you’ll still see the usual QF81/QF82 flights in the mix.
- From March 31, 2024, Qantas’ daily Sydney-Bangkok service will be operated by the Finnair A330s. You’ll be able to recognise these flights by the flight numbers QF295 and QF296.
Interestingly, the Finnair pilots will be based out of Helsinki. They will operate Finnair services to Bangkok and Singapore. They will then continue flying to Australia under the Qantas flight numbers. Finnair will be providing cabin-crew from either Singapore or Bangkok, depending on the flight.
It’s a bit of a win-win for both airlines. For Finnair, it helps with the deployment of aircraft as the rework the network due to the Ukraine war. In the case of Qantas, it helps to bring extra aircraft online.
It also holds a bonus for Qantas flyers, as it brings both a highly regarded business product, and a premium economy product to its A330 services.