Qantas to swap land for air freight
Qantas has announced it has reached an agreement to sell its 50 per cent stake in road freight company StarTrack to Australia Post and acquire 100 per cent of the air freight business Australian Air Express.
The announcement brings an end to a joint-venture between Qantas and Australia Post which saw each company own 50 per cent of both Australia Post and Australian Air Express.
The transaction is subject to a number of conditions, namely Australian Competition and Consumer Commission approval for Australia Post’s acquisition of StarTrack and final approval from Australia Post’s shareholder.
Qantas’ CEO, Alan Joyce, said the move would significantly bolster the company’s air cargo network.
“Through this acquisition we will be able to offer an integrated air freight product across domestic and international networks,” Mr Joyce said.
“By leveraging the best from both businesses and delivering efficiencies, we will provide a marketleading service to our customers.
“This transaction is consistent with the goals of the Qantas Group’s strategy. It enables us to improve
a core business area while divesting a non-core asset, StarTrack.
Australian Air Express was created in 1992 as a 50:50 joint venture between Qantas and Australia Post, which was then expanded through the joint purchase of StarTrack in 2003.
The airline says it expects to receive net proceeds of $408 million, and will result in a profit of approximately $30 million. It is expected that Air Australia Express will be rebranded as Qantas Freight as part of the deal.
Australia Post has announced it has no intentions on changing the management operations of StarTrack, and it is anticipated that the StarTrack company and brand will remain standalone within the Australia Post group.
Australia Post’s CEO, Ahmed Fahour, said the move will enable the company to better cater for the demand for flexible, timely and cost effective delivery services.
"StarTrack also provides infrastructure capabilities that are of strategic and commercial benefit to Australia Post, including access to a fully automated network, track and trace technology and line-haul services options,” Mr Fahour said.