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Billion-dollar project: Qantas is expanding Perth into a second hub – with more flights to Europe

Billion-dollar project: Qantas is expanding Perth into a second hub – with more flights to Europe

The Australian airline and Perth Airport have agreed a record project. It will also enable more Qantas flights to Europe.

“This is a huge deal,” Australian Prime Minister Roger Cook commented on the Qantas and Perth Airport announcements on Friday (May 31). The airport in the city on Australia's southwest coast will become the country's second-largest hub.

Qantas and Perth Airport have reached an agreement that will spark a wave of multi-billion-dollar investments. As part of the twelve-year contract, they will invest around A$5 billion (€3.1 billion) in a new terminal and a new parallel runway. There will also be two multi-storey car parks, better access roads and the airport's first hotel, Qantas and the airport have announced.

First, the old stations will be renovated

According to the statement, there will be new international and domestic flights in Perth. Qantas and its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar will move all its flights to the new central terminal. They explained that after the opening, an additional 4.4 million seats will be available to and from Perth each year. Completion is scheduled for 2031.

Meanwhile, Qantas will upgrade existing facilities in previously used Terminals 3 and 4. Jetstar will move to Terminal 2 from September. The new runway will be called 03R/21L and is expected to be operational in 2028. It is located two kilometers from the existing runway 03L/21R and is 3,000 meters long.

Years of trouble

The work will also include upgrading the gates to accommodate ultra-long-haul aircraft – including the Airbus A350-1000 ordered by Qantas for Project Sunrise. These are non-stop flights to Europe and the USA. These aircraft will arrive from 2026 and will have special features and a private cabin for very long flights to Europe.

The fact that a deal has now been reached is the result of years of debate. During the pandemic, Qantas pulled out of the business. Until 2023, Prime Minister Cook accused the airline of being “lazy”. The airline prevents Perth from becoming the western gateway to Australia. Commenting on the plans, Qantas boss Vanessa Hudson said: “It has been a long, difficult and at times challenging journey, but over the past 12 months the team has come together to overcome all the challenges.”

In the photo gallery above, you can see images of the new station planned for Perth. Clicking on the image opens the gallery in large format.