Qantas Group has reached an agreement with Cobham Aviation Services to acquire National Jet Systems d/b/a Cobham Aviation Services Australia - Airline Services (NJS, Adelaide) and thus take the operation of twenty B717-200s in-house once more.

The value of the transaction was not disclosed. Following its closure, however, National Jet Systems will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qantas Group.

"Bringing the operation of our B717 aircraft into the Group provides us with more certainty for the future, which is incredibly important as we come out the other side of the Coronavirus. The B717s provide us with flexibility to service many segments of the domestic market, including regional routes, fly in fly out operations or more frequencies to capital cities. These are the kind of routes where travel demand is likely to recover first," QantasLink Chief Executive John Gissing said.

Cobham Aviation Services has operated the B717-200s for Qantas under the regional QantasLink brand for the last 15 years. The current contract was due to continue through 2026. Qantas said that the change will not impact the customers and will be purely a back-office change.

The Australian airline added that the financial impact of the acquisition "was not material" as it replaced the current wet-leasing contract.

The parties expect to finalise the transaction during the coming months.

Cobham's B717s are 18.3 years old on average. Qantas owns 18 of the aircraft and the remaining two are owned by BCC Equipment Leasing. The airline does not operate any other aircraft.

The acquisition does not affect Cobham Aviation Services Australia's other services, namely its own scheduled and charter flights operated by its subsidiary JetEx (JTE, Adelaide). JetEx will also continue operating four BAe 146-300(QT)s on behalf of Qantas Freight (Sydney Kingsford Smith).