Qantas Group has selected six converted A321-200(P2F)s to replace its ageing fleet of B737 freighters operated by subsidiary Express Freighters Australia (QE, Sydney Kingsford Smith) under the Qantas Freight brand.

The airline said the six aircraft would be sourced on the open market and converted. Deliveries are expected between 2024 and 2026.

"Qantas Freight has been one of the standout performers for the Group during the pandemic as Australians rapidly shifted to online shopping. While some of that shift is temporary, demand remains well above pre-pandemic levels even with the lifting of almost all COVID-related restrictions. The first three A321P2F have been a fantastic addition to our fleet, and operating a single-type of narrowbody aircraft in the future will enable us to generate further operational efficiencies and significantly reduce emissions per tonne of freight flown," Qantas Group Chief Executive Alan Joyce said.

Express Freighters Australia currently operates four B737-300(F)s, which are 35.7 years old on average, and a single 32.2-year-old B737-300(SF). Another -400(SF) is operated by independent ACMI/charter specialist Airwork Flight Operations (PST, Auckland Int'l), the ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows.

With its current fleet of three A321-200(P2F)s, Express Freighters Australia is the world's largest operator of the type. Two of the three were sourced from sister carrier Jetstar Airways (JQ, Melbourne Tullamarine), while the third is ex-Onur Air (OHY, Istanbul New) stock. While Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingsford Smith) does not operate any A321-200s, Jetstar Airways operates six.

Qantas Freight's fleet, which is fully sourced from other operators under ACMI and CMI contracts, also comprises one B747-400FSCD, two B747-8Fs, one B767-300F, one BAe 146-200(QC), one BAe 146-200(QT), six BAe 146-300(QT)s, and two Saab 340A(F)s.