Jetgo to acquire Embraer E175s to launch Brisbane-Karratha-Singapore flights in 2018

An artist's impression of an Embraer E175 in Jetgo livery. (Jetgo)
An artist’s impression of an Embraer E175 in Jetgo livery. (Jetgo)

Jetgo plans to add the Embraer E175 to its fleet and operate international flights to Singapore in partnership with the City of Karratha.

The Embraer would be used to fly from Brisbane to Karratha, located on the West Australian north west coast in the in the Pilbara region, and then onwards to Singapore, Jetgo and the City of Karratha announced on Wednesday.

Flights with the 88-seat E175s would start from mid-2018, subject to all the necessary regulatory approvals.

Jetgo managing director for airlines Paul Bredereck said the proposed service to Karratha and Singapore service was a new niche opportunity for the airline.

“We have selected the Embraer E175 due to a combination of size, payload-range, cargo capacity, economics and the ready supply of local expertise due to existing E-170 and E-190 operators in Australia,” Bredereck said in a statement.

“It also builds upon an already strong relationship between Jetgo and Embraer.

“Jetgo is very much looking forward to developing this partnership with the City of Karratha at a time the mining industry is showing strong signs of recovery.”

Currently, Jetgo operates Embraer 37-seat ERJ-135LRs and 44-seat ERJ-140LR regional jets across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.

The proposed service would represent the airline’s first foray into Western Australia since it launched regular public transport (RPT) flights in December 2015.

It is also something of a boost for Brazillian manufacturer Embraer in this part of the world, given Virgin Australia was currently in the process of withdrawing the last of its E190s as part of fleet simplification efforts.

The agreement with the City of Karratha would underpin Jetgo moving up from its current fleet of Embraer ERJ regional jets in the 37-to-50 seat market segment to the larger 88-seat Embraer E175,” Bredereck said.

“This is a logical step for our business and builds on five and a half years of jet operations, including domestic airline services along with domestic and international jet charter services.”

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said there would be some modifications to the airport terminal for the installation of international passenger processing facilities.

Further, Cr Long said local residents had expressed a willingness to take advantage of any international services from Karratha, as well as a nonstop option to Australia’s east coast.

“This new service is a fantastic opportunity to market our region to an international and interstate audience with the potential of stimulating economic activity and aiding in the development of the local tourism industry,” Cr Long said.

“We will now move into the next stage of making this service a reality which includes undertaking some terminal modifications required by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and securing the necessary regulatory approvals.”

Currently, Karratha only has nonstop RPT services to Perth. Figures from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) showed the airport handled 464,000 passengers in 2016/17, down 16.7 per cent from 556,800 passengers in the prior year.

The city of about 20,000 residents is a centre for a number of iron ore and natural gas projects among some of the world’s biggest resources companies.

Comments

  1. deano says

    Jetgo keep pulling interesting rabbits out of their hat
    Would be interesting too see if they can fill 88 seats from Karratha and how frequently they would service the route
    Perhaps they could do a short hop via Port Headland to get more bums on seats….

  2. Darryl Baker says

    Fantastic new’s and congratulations to CEO of Jetgo Paul Bredereck, he has real passion and drive with great ambition, I hope his company has continued success in the Australian aviation Industry. He has changed the dynamics of regional air travel in Australia and taken the challenge up to Virgin Jetstar and Tiger by showing them there is room for competition in the Australian skies. Well done.

  3. Peter says

    I wish them all the best but they cant even get reliability on TMW to BNE. Stick to hub busting in Oz I reckon.

  4. Territory Aviator says

    @BALUS1967 You are absolutely right. the range for an E175 is 2200nm empty. BNE-KTA is 2029nm and KTA-SIN is 1758nm. Jetgo will not be able to operate BNE-KTA unless they either cap the amount of seats they sell or do a fuel stop in ASP.

  5. John says

    For Western Australia we need a airline like this that focuses routes out of the eastern states or international, it’s pointless for our state to backtrack to Perth for every flight plus it’s always at a premium

  6. salesh says

    I wonder if the Newcastle Airport CEO and Newcastle Lord Mayor have taken any notice of this? Interesting that Karratha can get a service like this going, yet Newcastle with International Airport already and a bigger population can’t get any airlines to fly international.
    Well done Karratha Airport and Jetgo

  7. Adrian P says

    Well done and good luck.
    Is this a start of a regional hub?
    Any money from the Northern Australian Development Fund?
    Also develop as an alternate for Perth instead of interstate airports?

  8. random says

    Australia needs a shake-up. International services to regional cities using smaller long-range aircraft, rather than the airlines’ preferred choice of hubbing.

    Hobart, Canberra, Newcastle, Sunshine Coast and Townsville would all benefit greatly from lower density direct international routes…. provided airlines were willing the ‘make the market’. The Capital City Connection through Canberra by SQ is in the vein, albeit using much larger B772.

    The airlines have all been reticent to equip for these smaller routes – and so we now see Jet Go and Air North working their way into an obvious market void – direct linkages between our smaller cities. And now this regional international service.

    Good luck to them. I would bet that a city like Townsville would fall over themselves to get an airline to do Wellington-Townsville-Singapore – 2 international routes for the price of one.

    It will probably take a new focus on aircraft selection – something like the now defunct B736 would have the legs without being too large.

    Seeing this move from Jet Go begs the question – will any other airline look to ‘make the market’ in these other under/unserviced regional Australian cities?

  9. Arkair says

    Jetgo should get a couple of E175s and E190s for trans tasman flights ex Newcastle, Canberra, and Hobart.
    How about a route Kalgoolie – Adelaide- Hobart- Auckland?
    If new karratha – Brisbane goes via Alice Springs or Ayers Rock would open up Central Australia to Asian tourism. Could hub in either port with services to regional cities such as Newcastle, Canberra and Hobart.
    There are so many potential new routes they could open up with an 80 seat jet!

  10. Mitch says

    There is zero chance the E175 is making the 2000NM+ trip westbound (or return Eastbound even with the winds for that matter) between Brisbane & Karratha? How do they think this is possible? Have they neglected to state they’ll be stopping to refuel or what?

  11. Ed says

    Jetgo CEO is Jason Ryder not Paul Brederck as mentioned above. Both of them are astute operators. Also the E175 is doing Brisbane-Alice-Karratha. They are getting the AR model which has a higher gross weight. The sector from KTA to Singapore is only 1600 miles sonwell within capabilty. Awesome work Jetgo. I hope they get to code share which would make this route shine

  12. rpaps5 says

    People,
    please get your facts right. the Embraer website lists the range for the E175LR as 2150nm and the E175AR as 2200nm both WITH FULL LOAD and TYPICAL MISSION RESERVES! NOT empty. I would think Paul Bredereck and co. would have the nouse to check something as basic as the range capability of the aircraft before making a public announcement.

  13. Mac Carter says

    Good to see more of these great aircraft servicing regional Australia.
    Australia needs modern aircraft and affordable air services if the nation is going to survive long term.
    For Isolated towns like Karratha, and many others, air services are an essential lifeline, not just for travellers.
    Fresh produce, urgent machinery breakdown parts, mail ect also are delivered by aircraft.
    A direct service from Brisbane will be great for all these reasons.
    Thanks Jetgo

  14. mike9 says

    Townsville has had so many opportunities to support international services. sadly, all have failed previously because of lack of interest from the locals. the latest flight to Denpasar is being withdrawn because of poor loads in both directions.. some here saying that Townsville is viable just are ignoring recent history.

  15. BALUS1967 says

    The earlier comments about the range of the E175 were in relation to the Brisbane-Karratha sector, a distance of 2029nm (great circle distance) which is very close to the range of the E175s mentioned in one of the above posts, without any adjustment for operational factors. However, according to another post above, the Brisbane-Karratha flight will be operating via Alice Springs, so range/distance is no longer a point of “interest”.

  16. BALUS1967 says

    Does anyone know if the Karratha-Singapore sector will operate as a scheduled international flight? Or will it operate as a “charter” flight, with seats able to be purchased by the public in a manner similar to a scheduled service?

  17. Aubrey says

    Of course Qantas operated on-again off-again weekly services on this route with B737-800s back in the day so not really a new thing.

  18. says

    In my four decades of aviation reporting I have got to say that PB has turned out to be one of the smartest operators I have ever met. Just wish he was running Virgin, which sadly seems to be walking away from every market opportunity available through route pioneering with its excellent Ejets.

    Long live the likes of JetGo, run by people who think outside the square instead of just following the pack and blaming everybody else for their woes.