The Western Australian capital of Perth is set to become home to a new world-class airport terminal following the signing of an agreement that will deliver billions in new investment.

On Friday, Perth Airport and Qantas announced a 12-year agreement that will underpin a major upgrade for the airport and deliver a significant boost to Western Australia’s tourism industry and economy.

The agreement will see more than $5 billion invested towards a new terminal at Airport Central, a new parallel runway, two multi-storey carparks and an airport hotel.

Qantas and Jetstar’s services will relocate to the new terminal when it opens in 2031.

By that time, Qantas and Jetstar plan to have added 4.4 million seats in additional annual capacity to and from Perth.

The new terminal will feature seamless domestic and international transfer as well as state-of-the-art check-in and bag drop facilities.

Qantas will work with Perth Airport on plans for a multi-lounge precinct for international and domestic passengers with a new signature design and bespoke dining and wellness initiatives.

As part of the agreement, Qantas plans to build a new engineering hangar in the Airport Central precinct.

The new terminal will be serviced by the METRONET Airport Central Station, which will provide an affordable public transport link directly from the airport to the city.

As an interim measure whilst the new terminal is being developed, Perth Airport will invest in upgrades to Terminals 3 and 4 – the current home of Quantas domestic and international flights.

This will create additional capacity whilst the new terminal is being constructed.

Jetstar will relocate its domestic services to Terminal 2 from September 2024, unlocking further growth opportunities for both airlines, before moving into the Airport Central terminal when complete.

Whilst the ultimate goal centres on the new terminal, the interim upgrades in the meantime will enable Qantas to add services and more destinations from Perth. This will include Auckland and Johannesburg flights from mid-2025, subject to meeting border agency requirements.

The works will also include gate upgrades to accommodate ultra-long-haul aircraft. This includes Quantas’ Project Sunrise Airbus A350s which are expected to arrive from 2026.

Qantas and Perth Airport have also agreed on the need for and timing of the new parallel runway which is expected to be open in 2028.

The latest agreement is expected to deliver significant benefits for the city of Perth and the state of Western Australia and will deliver benefits for specific important sectors such as tourism and resources.

The hub will also enhance inbound tourism and give Australians more options when travelling to Asia, Africa, India and Europe.

This is particularly important as the airport is currently running at capacity during weekdays at peak periods.

As things stand, airlines and passengers currently need to endure a waitlist of slots between 5:30am and 7:30am.

The latest agreement has also resolved a long-running dispute between Quantas and Perth Airport over processing charges, the former’s move to a single terminal complex on the eastern side of the airport and building the parallel runway.

Whilst the main airport sits on the eastern side of Perth’s runway, Qantas and Jetstar domestic flights never made the move across to this and remain stuck in the old airport building on the western side of the runway.

As a result, passengers navigating between Qantas’ garden shed and the main airport currently endure an eight-kilometre bus ride.

Perth Airport CEO Jason Waters welcomed the announcement.

“This is a special moment in the history of aviation in Western Australia as this agreement will unlock the future for both Perth Airport and Qantas,” Waters said.

“Qantas has some ambitious growth plans for its operations in Perth and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to push ahead together to realise this potential.

“Western Australians will now see the largest-ever private investment in an infrastructure development in Perth – a once in a lifetime investment program that will completely change the face of Perth Airport over the next decade.

“Perth Airport’s plans will see more than $5 billion invested in delivering new terminal facilities, a new parallel runway, two multi-storey carparks with associated roadworks, and our first airport hotel.

“This will create thousands of construction and on-going jobs, underpin the future growth of the FIFO-based resources sector, generate new tourism and trade opportunities, and deliver enormous ongoing benefits to Western Australia.

“Most importantly, it will deliver one airport for the people of Western Australia which will host all flight services giving them a seamless, world class travel experience.”

Quantas CEO Vanessa Hudson agreed.

Noting that Quantas’ Perth-London and Perth-Rome represented two of the most popular flights on the carrier’s international network, Hudson said that Perth is now on-track to become Quantas’ second biggest international gateway behind Sydney.

The additional flying would see Quantas create an additional 700 jobs across Western Australia, from pilots to crew, engineering and airport staff, Hudson added.


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