Qantas Airways Ltd., Australia’s biggest carrier, plans to remove life rafts from 38 planes that fly mainly domestically in a bid to save fuel.

The life rafts will still be carried by aircraft that fly over longer stretches of water, according to an e-mailed statement from the Sydney-based company today. The Qantas group, which includes budget carrier Jetstar, has a total fleet of more than 300 planes including the Airbus 380 and Boeing 747, according to its website.

Qantas is looking to cut costs after it posted a record A$2.84 billion ($2.5 billion) loss in the year ended June 30. It has embarked on a A$2 billion cost-cutting program and has forecast a profit in the six months through December 31.

“The majority of our Boeing 737s operate between Australian mainland cities and don’t fly over long stretches of water, so rafts simply aren’t required, even as a precaution,” Mike Plottel, head of safety at the airline, said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Narayanan Somasundaram in Sydney at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stanley James at

Tags: qantas
Photo Credit: A Qantas 767 taking off from Perth, Australia. planegeezer / Flickr planegeezer /