Australia’s Qantas Group plans to operate up to 15 aircraft – five from mainline Qantas and 10 from low-cost Jetstar – from Western Sydney (Nancy Bird Walton) airport after the airfield opens for business in 2026.

The airlines will operate domestic schedules only from Western Sydney, including to Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Qantas and Jetstar are the first airlines to commit to flying from the new airport.

It is expected these aircraft will carry around four million passengers through Western Sydney per annum on more than 25,000 flights. Around 700 operational jobs are expected to be needed, with local recruitment to take place in the lead up to the first flights.

“This is a substantial Qantas and Jetstar presence at Sydney’s new major airport,” commented Western Sydney Airport CEO, Simon Hickey. “It is designed for growth and will eventually become Sydney’s biggest airport. We have a roadmap to grow to 82 million passengers a year, around the size of the world’s major airports, such as Dubai and London Heathrow.”

Qantas Group chief executive, Alan Joyce, said Western Sydney was on track to become the sixth biggest airport for the group within its first year of operation.

“In just over three years Qantas and Jetstar will take off from Western Sydney connecting one of Australia’s fastest growing areas through direct flights across the country,” Joyce said.

“As we take delivery of more aircraft and expand our fleet, we see Western Sydney Airport as a significant growth opportunity for the Group, which will complement our existing operations in the Sydney basin and nationally.

“Western Sydney International Airport has some big strategic advantages with no curfew, technology that allows aircraft to be turned around quickly and a next-generation baggage system,” the Qantas chief continued.