Australian airExpress

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Australian airExpress
Australian airExpress logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
XM XME Qantas
Founded 1992
Hubs Melbourne Airport
Fleet size 8
Destinations 17
Parent company Qantas
Headquarters Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Australian airExpress was a logistics company based in Melbourne, Australia. It operates freight-only services within Australia using leased Qantas, National Jet Systems, and Pel-Air aircraft and a fleet of land vehicles. Its main base is Melbourne Airport.[1]


Express Freighters Australia Boeing 737s now form the core of the Australian airExpress fleet
National Jet Systems BAe 146-300 operating on behalf of Australian airExpress
Pel-Air Fairchild Expediter operating on behalf of Australian airExpress
Australian airExpress International facility at Sydney Airport

Australian airExpress was established in early 1992 as a Domestic air freight company with the ability of pick-up and delivery services using both vans and trucks. AaE started operations on 1 August 1992. It was established as a joint venture between Australia's largest airline Qantas (50%), and government-owned postal provider Australia Post (50%) as a main competitor to the then Ansett Australia. AaE operates more than 50 nightly inter-capital freighter services.[1] AaE use freight capacity on Qantas domestic flights and also dedicated cargo services operated on their behalf by several different companies, principally using Boeing 727 aircraft. Australian airExpress began the phasing out of the 727s in September 2006[2] and they are being replaced by specially converted Boeing 737 aircraft that were formerly part of the Qantas fleet, operated by Qantas subsidiary Express Freighters Australia. The first Boeing 737 entered service on 24 October 2006.[2] On 2 October 2012, Qantas announced it would acquire Australia Post's 50% interest in AaE, in return for Australia Post acquire Qantas' 50% interest in Star Track Express.[3]

Australian airExpress was absorbed into Qantas Freight during February 2013. As a result, its own website ceased to exist but some of its operations are still continuing as the air division of Star Track Express.[4]


AaE flight operations are somewhat complex and varied. "Next Flight" services use space on the next available scheduled Qantas passenger flights. Items carried for Overnight, 2 Day Economy and Off-Peak deliveries are flown on both Qantas and Australian airExpress aircraft operated by Express Freighters Australia, National Jet Systems subsidiary National Jet Express, and Pel-Air. The company does not service the Northern Territory 'overnight' from Sydney. Due to the three different service providers, AaE flights operate using different flight numbers and callsigns. The Express Freighters Australia Boeing 737s use Qantas flight numbers and callsigns as the ground handling is done by Qantas/Express Freighters,[5] while National Jet Express uses the aircraft registration as their callsign and uses the IATA designator XM for its flight numbers (and uses the ICAO designator XME).[2][6] Pel-Air flights also use XM flight numbers but have no specific callsigns. AaE also has an international Division called Australian airExpress International.


Australian airExpress currently operates freight services to the following domestic scheduled destinations (as at February 2008):[2][6][7]

Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Northern Territory
South Australia
Western Australia


The following aircraft are currently in the Australian airExpress fleet (at December 2011):[1][6][8][9]

Australian airExpress Fleet
Aircraft Total Notes
Fairchild Metroliner 1 Operated by Pel-Air
Boeing 737-300F 4 Operated by Express Freighters Australia
BAe 146-300QT 2 Operated by Cobham Aviation Services
BAe 146-100QT 1 Operated by Cobham Aviation Services

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 27 March 2007. pp. 80–81. 
  2. ^ a b c d Reid, Gordon. "Freighter Farewell", Australian Aviation magazine No. 239, June 2007, p70-71. Phantom Media Pty. Ltd., Fyshwick ACT. ISSN 0813-0876
  3. ^ "Australia Post to buy Qantas out of freight group StarTrack Express in $400 million deal". Herald Sun. 2 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "Australian air Express and Qantas Freight". Archived from the original on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  5. ^ Sydney Airport website Archived 3 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine. retrieved 2008-02-05.
  6. ^ a b c National Jet Express AOC Archived 7 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine. retrieved 2008-09-06.
  7. ^ Australian air Express locations retrieved 2008-02-05. Archived 17 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Express Freighters Australia AOC Archived 30 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine. retrieved 2008-09-06.
  9. ^ Australian civil aircraft register search, using "National Jet Express" as the search parameter.[permanent dead link] Search conducted 6 September 2008.

External links[edit]