QANTAS Link to build a Boeing 717 heavy maintenance base at Canberra, QANTAS celebrates 50 years of trans-Tasman jet services

QANTAS Link has announced that it will create a Boeing 717 heavy maintenance base in Canberra, generating up to 40 highly skilled engineering roles in the nation’s capital.

“From October, Canberra will be at the heart of our Boeing 717 engineering operations, which will complement our increased flying out of Canberra with this aircraft type and allow us to better utilize our existing assets at Canberra Airport,” Mr Gissing said.

Heavy maintenance checks are detailed checks of the aircraft, performed every two years on the Boeing 717. On average, it takes around 28 days and 5500 man hours for a Boeing 717 to have a heavy maintenance check.

This is in addition to line maintenance checks, which are basic checks that are done every few days, and currently performed in ports across Australia, including Canberra. QANTAS Link has 18 Boeing 717-200s in its fleet.

The company conducts heavy maintenance on its Bombardier Q400, Q300 and Q200 at its heavy maintenance facility in Tamworth.

QANTAS logo (large)

In other news, QANTAS Airways (Sydney) today celebrates the 50th anniversary of its first jet service between New Zealand and Australia.

Above Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 707-138B VH-XBA (msn 17696) departs from Southend.

On April 10, 1965, a 104 seat QANTAS Boeing 707 (V-jet) aircraft departed Sydney for Christchurch, where it was welcomed by a 10,000 strong crowd. The new Boeing 707s offered a comfortable 20-seat First cabin and 84 seats in Economy.

Previously the Tasman route was serviced by a propeller-driven Lockheed Electra aircraft, and prior to that, Shorts Empire Flying Boats which seated a maximum of 15 passengers and took around nine hours to travel from Auckland to Sydney. The journey now takes around 3 hours.

The inaugural V-jet service was commanded by Chief Pilot Line Operations, Captain “Torchy” Uren and NZ-born cabin crew members Bob Bishop, Alan Williams and Alan Gill as well as Anne Claydon from Lyttelton in Christchurch. QANTAS Founder Sir Hudson Fysh and Lady Fysh were onboard the inaugural service.

Qantas Co-Founder Hudson Fysh (right) and Lady Fysh were on the inaugural service welcomed by Mayor of Christchurch, Mr G. Manning (left)(QANTAS)(LRW)

Above Photo: QANTAS Airways. Co-Founder Hudson Fysh (right) and Lady Fysh were on the inaugural service welcomed by Mayor of Christchurch, Mr G. Manning (left).

Below Photo: QANTAS Airways. The arrival was met by 10,000 people.

QANTAS 707-100B VH-EBI arrival in CHC (QANTAS)(LRW)

QANTAS was established in New Zealand in 1940, when Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL), formed by QANTAS, Imperial Airways (BOAC), and a partnership of Union Airways of New Zealand and the New Zealand Government, inaugurated a weekly service between Sydney and Auckland.

Above Copyright Photo: Jacques Guillem Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. QANTAS Airways Lockheed 188C Electra VH-ECD (msn 2008).

In October 1961, QANTAS began operations in its own right across the Tasman jointly with TEAL, serviced by an Electra international aircraft.

QANTAS today operates more than 200 flights per week between New Zealand and Australia, including services between Auckland and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane; Wellington and Melbourne; and Christchurch and Sydney. Year-round weekly services between Queenstown and Sydney commenced in October 2005 and now operate three times per week, increasing to daily from Sydney and twice a week from Brisbane during the ski season. Jetstar also operates across the Tasman, and within New Zealand between Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Queenstown and Dunedin.

Video:

Top Copyright Photo: Rob Finlayson/AirlinersGallery.com. Operated under contract by Cobham Aviation Services Australia (formerly National Jet Systems), Boeing 717-2BL VH-NXR (msn 55168) operating as QANAS Link, departs from Brisbane.

QANTAS Airways aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

QANTAS Link-Cobham aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

AG A gallery for every airline