Qantas confirms flights from Western Sydney airport

Qantas and Jetstar will be the first airlines to fly from the new 24-hour airport when it opens in late 2026.

By David Flynn, June 8 2023
Qantas confirms flights from Western Sydney airport

Qantas and Jetstar will fly from the new 24-hour airport when it opens in late 2026 with flights to Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

The airline plans for an initial five single-aisle jets such as the Boeing 737 (although this doesn’t rule out the forthcoming Airbus A321XLR or A220 aircraft) based at Western Sydney, with its low-cost arm Jetstar fielding ten single-aisle jets.

Western Sydney airport will open in late 2026.
Western Sydney airport will open in late 2026.

It’s expected those 15 aircraft will carry around four million passengers within the first year, on more than 25,000 flights – and it’s hard to imagine  flights from Virgin Australia and Rex won’t also end up on the departures board at Western Sydney.

Western Sydney airport will open in late 2026.
Western Sydney airport will open in late 2026.

Construction of what is officially Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport, which will carry the airport code WSI, is now more than 50 per cent complete, and Qantas and Jetstar will be the first airlines to take wing from the sprawling greenfield site.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said that as the group expands its fleet with new aircraft “we see Western Sydney Airport as a significant growth opportunity… which will complement our existing operations in the Sydney basin and nationally.”

Unlike its eastern competitor, Western Sydney International Airport will have no curfew.
Unlike its eastern competitor, Western Sydney International Airport will have no curfew.

Joyce lauded the benefits of Nancy-Bird Walton such as no curfew, technology that allows aircraft to be turned around quickly and a next-generation baggage system.

“Our data shows that more than two million trips per year are taken by people who live in the Western Sydney catchment so we know there will be demand for these flights from day one.”

Western Sydney airport will open in late 2026.
Western Sydney airport will open in late 2026.

And international flights are next on the list, Joyce says.

“We have a very big desire to operate both international and freight services from this airport. We just have to get more commercial terms that are sensible. Once we get there, we’re going to be very happy to make that commitment.”

Western Sydney airport CEO Simon Hickey says passengers “are going to love flying from WSI and we can’t wait to welcome them.”

“WSI is being designed for growth and will eventually become Sydney’s biggest airport. We have a roadmap to grow to 82 million annual passengers, around the size of the world’s major airports, such as Dubai and London Heathrow.”

Really hope that we don't see commuter travel moved out to the west. It will be likely to take as long to do the ground transit into the CBD from the new airport as the actual flight time which will be a killer for business travel - it would be better to use Zoom from home rather than have a three hour each way transit from BNE.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1377

WSI is very much complementary, it's Sydney's 2nd airport for those living in or travelling to Sydney's West, or Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands, even Canberra.

Kingsford Smith and all its flights aren't going anywhere and will remain Sydney's main airport for decades.

09 Aug 2015

Total posts 93

Great news, bring it on! As somebody who lives 'out west', WSI will be so much more convenient for me than SYD, I hope airlines also take full advantage of the no-curfew especially when it comes to international flights. I reckon this is just the first of many announcements we'll hear of airlines coming to WSI, Virign and Rex will almost certainly follow, and there will definitely be many international airlines too, even if they are low-cost carriers to start with, like Scoot and AirAsia.

08 Feb 2018

Total posts 160

surely it will only be more convenient if the destination is available from WSI too??

I think Brisbane, and Melbourne will be likely destinations for both Qantas and Jetstar and I think Jetstar may also fly to the Gold Coast or the Whitsundays as well

"Thank you, Captain Obvious", of course it depends on the destination from WSI. I think we can assume when people talk about WSI being convenient for west & south-west it's based on the flights from WSI being suitable. MEL BNE and OOL are great starting points for Qantas and Jetstar.

08 Feb 2018

Total posts 160

Can't see WSI ever being the biggest airport, given the convenience of the inner-city alternative. I mean Sydney is the biggest and best city in Australia, not Penrith-ish

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jun 2017

Total posts 49

it's neither the biggest nor the best, but sure

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Aug 2017

Total posts 84

10% of Australia’s population lives in western Sydney, so it’s a no-brainer to put an airport there. People in the southern and eastern suburbs and the inner-city would still gravitate to Kingsford Smith. As for the north shore and northern beaches, where some of Sydney’s most affluent people (and most frequent travellers) live, it really depends on the public transport connections. Currently it takes about an hour to get from SYD to the upper north shore by public transport. If WSI can beat that, it’s in the game.

09 Aug 2015

Total posts 93

Way more than 10%. Western Sydney LGA or local government area has 2.6m, Sydney overall has 5.3m so right out of the gate Western Sydney has almost 50% of Sydney's population. Add another 1m for the south-west because they are also in WSI's catchment area and you're looking at almost a third of Sydney's population.

And WSI doesn't need to attract people from the north shore and northern beaches, there are plenty of affluent people in the west, sure not to the same standard as the north shore etc but more than enough for WSI.

Also,  "where most affluent people (and most frequent travellers) live, it really depends on the public transport connections", you really think those 'most affluent people'  are going to catch a bus or train? They drive or get an Uber or HC.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Aug 2017

Total posts 84

I did write that 10% of AUSTRALIA’s population lives in Western Sydney. The figures you’ve given confirm that. 

And yes, I frequently travel to Sydney from Melbourne and stay on the upper North Shore. Unless I’m in a real hurry, and when I’m travelling alone, I’ll pay the $19 for a train rather than the $120 for an Uber or $150 for a taxi. Judging by the number of people on the train carrying luggage with airline tags attached, I’m definitely not the only one either. After all, many of the affluent people have become affluent by not needlessly wasting their money!

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1422

One of the images has a different design and also a wind farm along the runway which is weird. Having flights serving western Sydney including parramatta will have quite a few takers.

05 Apr 2017

Total posts 19

Well spotted Patrickk; you beat me to it.  What a great idea - wind turbines should be installed to line every runway in the country !  Sadly, the 10MP layout drawing on the  WSI website shows them to be located in the "Glide Path Critical Area".

They should launch Project Sunrise from WSI

09 Aug 2015

Total posts 93

LOL yeah right, as if!

26 May 2016

Total posts 19

At least the connections between domestic and international would be worthy of the premium project sunrise flights are demanding, unlike at Sydney airport 

I think BONZA should launch a hub at WSI. 

09 Aug 2015

Total posts 93

Bonza would be a great fit for WSI and Rex should also get in the game. A lot of potential there for both airlines.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 967

Me having four properties around WSI I can't wait for take-off, sitting on the patio watching plane son final approach. I just hope they have a shuttle service, bus, plane etc between the two airports.

23 May 2012

Total posts 52

Great (ha ha) for international transfers.  I guess this will add at least another 3 hours for a connection eg from Canberra to an international port via Sydney .... can't wait ... Melbourne will it be as future transit point.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1422

The international flights are yet to be announced and qantas has said they will be part of that.

AT
AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 379

I don't understand why anyone on this site would post an anti-western Sydney airport comment or the inference that Mascot is the only logical option for everyone in Sydney. Major global airports around the world e.g. Tokyo Narita, London Heathrow, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing etc are all considerable way out from the central business districts. I am going to be so bold to say any reasonable traveller business or leisure is going to welcome WSI and embrace it.

I absolutely agree with you AT. It shows some people just don't 'get' how big the western Sydney area is, and don't get that it's a prime market for domestic and international travel and not just low-cost 'budget' airlines. There are SO many people in western and south-western Sydney who will welcome WSI for holidays as well as for business trips. Imagine being somebody in the outer-west who can fly from WSI to MEL or BNE on a day trip for business and not face the long commute to and from SYD.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Sep 2013

Total posts 188

Agree as well LIT - but unless there are departures internationally the catchment area passengers still have to go to Mascot… 

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 673

The brainiacs who decided on WSI seemed forget one small thing - an express train to Sydney. Half of Sydney's population still lives closer to SYD.  Bus will be useless unless there is a dedicated bus lane. Elephant in the room or what?

There will be a metro to St Marys and from there I would expect a lot of express services stopping only at a few main stations to Central and then up the north shore line. Unless you were expecting that WSI would also come with a dedicated express rail line to the city which would somehow magically cut through all those densely-populated suburbs?

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 967

There is a train line to WSI, as LostInTransit said, Bus Shuttle between the two airports should take less than an hour (Bon Voyage Shuttles a local WSI company owned by an ex QF Baggage Handler nicknamed Have-A-Chat will keep you occupied). The issue with WSI is the fuel tankers which they estimate 60 tankers a day on the road to keep the fuel flowing. 

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 566

Wonder how often those SYD destinations flights will end up in WSI if they can beat the curfew, although I must admit repositioning those planes from WSI to SYD first thing in the morning won’t be easy since the flight path involved would need a big detour more than what some people would assume, and then the other issue would be whether they would be expected to bus people back to SYD etc. 

Although WSI appears to have been build with capability to handle international flights (primarily immigration and customs and quarantine facilities), I expect there need to be a minimum international traffic volume for it to make it worthwhile to maintain border force staff (although CBR have shown they can deal with even a token international traffic although the question is who really pays for those services)

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 464

the question mark is will people be accepting of having two airports.I can understand Tokyo,Paris and Shanghai and even Los Angeles having two or more but what of Sydney.London is another one that has had two for years or is it 3.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Aug 2017

Total posts 84

I think London has 4 international airports? Heathrow, Gatwick, Stanstead and London City?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Jun 2014

Total posts 19

And Luton!! Not to mention the airports handling the Biz Jets...

British Airways - Executive Club

06 Apr 2018

Total posts 13

I think its 6. There is also Luton and London Southend. Not saying either are fantastic airports but they do take international flights!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jan 2017

Total posts 23

Having used Southend a couple of times - once driving another time by train - unless you live in Essex or East London, it really isn't viable. From where I am in South London, it's only for plane geek flights on obscure airlines :)  Even getting to / from Luton or Stansted can cost as much as the flight, so it's Gatwick / Heathrow / City for the majority of my flights.

At one stage a Bankstown / Moorabbin sized airport in Oxford was also calling itself a London airport when it had a handful of commercial flights.

Anyway, back to the article. I drove around WSI when I was back at Christmas, I was impressed with how the road infrastructure in that part of Western Sydney has been developed over the last 10 years. I look forward to logging sectors in and out of there.

I know they are looking to connect the airport to St Marys with a metro, but I'm surprised they aren't extending the Leppington line. Maybe they're following the example that Melbourne has set for getting a train out to Tulla  - just as well my Dad lives on the 901 bus route.

QF

04 Apr 2014

Total posts 207

The greater LA actually has 4 notable airports:  LAX, Ontario, John Wayne (a.k.a. Orange County), and Long Beach.  Plus only a couple of hours south you have San Diego.  

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 191

I can only really see Western Sydney Airport being a big success if it offers substantial economic benefits to the airlines that fly in and out of there.

In many cities where close-to-city airports were number one choice for airlines and passengers (think Tokyo Haneda and Milan Linate) the only way the newer, further out airports (Narita and Malpensa for example) were able to get significant traffic was by mandates from the governments effectively banning any further growth at the close to city airports.

I think the lack of a curfew will see WSI being VERY attractive for freight airlines as well as low cost that can see the economics of having aircraft working around the clock instead of sitting on the ground from midnight to 6am every day.

Crucial to its success however will be the surrounding infrastructure and transport links.  If it isn't easy to get to by road/rail people will just not want to use it.

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 191

@ Sibelius it is actually five - London Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and City.

LHR obviously the 'golden runways'.  LGW a mixed bag yet the busiest single runway airport in the world (it was at least pre-pandemic anyway).  LTN a mainly low cost hub for Easyjet and Wizz Air.  STN the low cost hub for Ryanair (though also sees EK flights to DXB and several other operators).  And LCY predominantly regional aircraft with flights to continental europe with the legacy flag carriers.  BA did operate an all J class A318 LCY-JFK for a period of time.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 339

@cooper81

You forgetting Southend Airport, another low cost airport with a quick connect to the City, Canary Wharf and London’s East End.

So Londoners have a choice of 6 airports to choose from.. London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Luton, London Stansted and London Southend.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 692

Ab - how many airports do you think Melbourne has?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 386

One real airport and one backyard shed out near Geelong. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Mar 2022

Total posts 12

Lack of curfew is huge.

The initial traffic will largely be cargo, to feed the Moorebank interchange and then industrial areas across outer Sydney.

In due course though, without curfew you can start having proper red eyes into Asia ie leave SYD midnight, into SIN just before 6am.  

21 Jul 2014

Total posts 11

Living in the north shore will mean I won't be planning to use this airport unless absolutely urgent 

06 Feb 2021

Total posts 59

I would anticipate the middle eastern airlines will also consider Western Sydney in the medium term, no overnight curfew suits their world wide timetabling. If they relocate any of their flights to the west, expect departures between midnight and 6AM to appear on the schedule as they do out of Tulla. 

22 Sep 2017

Total posts 78

Looks like a good option for smaller international operators that want to run a frequent flight to/from one city fed by domestic connections (and don't have the volume to serve four or five capitals daily).  Compared to the slow torture of domestic-international transfer at SYD this would be very attractive.  And without a curfew you could leave, say, OOL at 9pm, be on the international flight at midnight, and wake up in Tokyo at 8am.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Feb 2020

Total posts 29

Won’t work for me for domestic legs but great for those that can get there easily. International operations will be interesting to watch for though.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 967

I wonder what the price point for airlines will be per customer. Will a cheaper landing fee mean move airlines will want to use WSI or will they match SYD pricing?


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