Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingsford Smith) will lease two A330-300s from Finnair (AY, Helsinki Vantaa) for six years to operate on the Sydney - Singapore Changi, and Sydney - Bangkok Suvarnabhumi sectors. The flights will be an extension of existing Finnair services between Helsinki and the two Southeast Asian cities. Finnair will wet-lease the aircraft to Qantas for the first two-and-a-half years of the lease, and switch to a dry-lease for the remaining time.

The Finnair aircraft will begin flying into Sydney in late October 2023, freeing up Qantas planes and crew to fly elsewhere. ch-aviation research reveals that the first Finnair A330 will begin operating six weekly roundtrips between Sydney and Singapore for Qantas from October 30. The Australian airline presently operates a mixture of A330-300, A330-200, and A380-800 types on that city pair. Daily Finnair-operated A330 roundtrip flights will start operating for Qantas between Bangkok and Sydney from March 31, 2024. Qantas presently flies a daily A330-330 roundtrip service on this city pair. While the Finnair service will replace the Qantas-operated Bangkok flight, Qantas will keep operating its own aircraft on some services on the Sydney - Singapore sector, where the airline typically offers several roundtrips a day, including its flagship QF1/2 services. Qantas adds that the Finnair-operated services in and out of Sydney will include Qantas’s usual inflight catering, amenities, IFE, and baggage allowances.

While outgoing Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce says the deal, especially when it shifts to an operating lease, will create jobs and opportunities within the group, the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) has criticised the move, with president Tony Lucas calling it "shocking and bitterly disappointing."

"The decision to wet-lease illustrates the failures of the fleet planning processes of the last five years, and certainly recent decisions made during the pandemic recovery," he said. Joyce said the deal was about generating more capacity at Qantas, where a shortage of aircraft has hindered its ability to fully rollout its pre-pandemic network. "These are aircraft that are as rare as hens’ teeth," he said. "We think it’s a win-win.” Joyce says the international network is back to 84% of its pre-pandemic levels and will hit 100% by March. This is aided by the return of more A380-800s from storage (there are currently seven in service and three out for maintenance reasons) and the delivery of the last three B787-9s, taking the airline's B787 fleet to 14.

Meanwhile, the Finnair leases and additional aircraft are facilitating a significant lift in frequencies on ten international routes, as well as the resumption of the Sydney - Shanghai Pudong route, and launch of Brisbane International - Wellington, and Brisbane - Honiara routes on October 29. Qantas will use its own A330-300s on the Shanghai run, and E190s wet-leased from Alliance Airlines (QQ, Brisbane International) on the new Southwest Pacific services.