Qantas and Perth Airport agree multi-billion-dollar expansion deal

Qantas and Perth Airport agree multi-billion-dollar expansion deal
It is hoped the agreement will deliver huge growth for Australia's tourism industry (Image credit: JarekKilian/Adobe Stock)

Australian flag carrier Qantas and Perth Airport have announced a “historic” commercial agreement set to unlock a “multi-billion-dollar wave of investment” through the expansion of Perth Airport.

Qantas said the 12-year agreement, in which the airport will invest around AU$3bn in new terminal facilities and a new parallel runway, will create jobs, generate economic growth and give Australia’s tourism industry a huge boost.

This will form part of a $5bn capital investment programme by Perth Airport – the largest ever private infrastructure development in Perth – which will also deliver two multi-storey carparks, major access roadworks and the airport’s first hotel.

Qantas and Jetstar – Qantas’ low-cost subsidiary – will relocate all services to a new terminal in the Airport Central precinct that will, along with the airline’s major investment in new aircraft, enable the growth required to turn Western Australia into a major domestic and international hub for the airlines, Qantas said.

The airlines plan to add 4.4 million seats to and from Perth annually by the time the new terminal opens in 2031.

The hub will significantly enhance inbound tourism and give Australians more options when travelling to Asia, Africa, India and Europe, Qantas added.

Vanessa Hudson, CEO of Qantas, said: “This is the largest airport infrastructure deal in our history. It will enable us 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.”

She added that 700 new jobs will be created in Western Australia – including for pilots, crew, engineering and airport staff.

As part of the agreement, Qantas plans to build a new engineering hangar in the Airport Central precinct.

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.

Meanwhile Jetstar will relocate its domestic services to Terminal 2 from September, unlocking further growth opportunities for both airlines, before moving into the Airport Central terminal when complete, the airline stated.

According to Qantas, the Terminal 3 and 4 upgrades will enable the airline to add services and more destinations from Perth, including Auckland and Johannesburg from mid-2025, subject to meeting border agency requirements.

The works will also include gate upgrades to accommodate ultra-long-haul aircraft, including its Project Sunrise Airbus A350s which arrive from 2026.

Jason Waters, Perth Airport CEO, said: “This is a special moment in the history of aviation in Western Australia as this agreement will unlock the future for both Perth Airport and Qantas.

“Qantas has some ambitious growth plans for its operations in Perth and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to push ahead together to realise this potential.

“Western Australians will now see the largest-ever private investment in an infrastructure development in Perth – a once in a lifetime investment programme that will completely change the face of Perth Airport over the next decade.”

Qantas and Perth Airport have also agreed on the need for and timing of the new parallel runway which is expected to be open in 2028.

Delivery of the new runway will enable further growth for the critical resources sector and future-proof aviation in Western Australia, the carrier added.