The Qantas (ASX:QAN) share price has taken off today

Qantas is expecting a boost to domestic holiday and business travel and has increased its fleet.

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A Qantas pilot stands in an empty passenger cabin smiling with his arms crossed feeling excited about international travel resuming

Image source: Getty Images

The Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price is lifting, despite no news being released by the airline today.

The Qantas share price was trading at $4.85, up 2.97% at the market close today.

Yesterday, the airline announced it will be introducing new routes through an expanded deal with Alliance Air.

Let’s take a closer look at the latest news from Qantas.

Qantas readying for domestic take-off

According to Qantas, it’s getting ready for an expected boost to domestic travel by expanding its 3-year agreement with Alliance Air.

The expansion will see Qantas use 4 more 94-seat E190 jets for its regional QantasLink services. The new planes will bring the total number of aircraft used by QantasLink up to 18.

The new E190 jets mean Qantas can use its Boeing (NYSE: BA) 737 aircrafts to create new routes and increase flight frequency.

E190 jets can complete 5-hour trips, which Qantas says is perfect for linking regional centres with smaller capital cities.

The first route to see more travellers seated on E190 jets will be between Adelaide and Canberra. The small capital cities will see the frequency of flights between them double to 18 a week after the new planes’ introduction.

Qantas says more routes and services resulting from the new agreement will be announced shortly.

Additionally, Jetstar has loaned 3 Airbus A320 aircraft from Jetstar Asia in Singapore for use in Australia.

According to Qantas, the increased demand for Australian domestic services coincides with decreased demand in Asian international services.

The Singaporean planes will join 6 that Jetstar has already borrowed from Jetstar Japan.

Jetstar can also use up to 5 Boeing 787-8 planes that normally fly internationally in its domestic operations.

Commentary from management

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce commented on the airline’s latest news:

Since travel demand started to recover about a year ago, our strategy has been to think creatively about how we use our fleet to add capacity back in, generate revenue and get more of our people back to work…

Expanding our long-standing relationship with Alliance gives us access to a different aircraft type without spending any capital…

Victoria represents about 20 per cent of our total network and with restrictions in Melbourne easing and as borders start to reopen, we expect to see a quick rebound in travel demand just as we have in other cities when lockdowns ended.

Qantas share price snapshot

This year has been tough on the Qantas share price, though it’s not far from the ASX green.

Qantas shares have fallen 0.81% in 2021 but are up 11.61% since this time last year.

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