The Department of Defence is investigating the tender process for the provision of Air Sustainment Support to the Middle East Area of Operations after the incumbent, Strategic Aviation Group, raised concerns with the inspector-general of Defence.
According to a statement issued by Defence on July 20, the secretary of Defence has directed the Chief Audit Executive to “immediately conduct a probity audit of the tender process” after receiving a letter from Strategic on July 14. The statement did not outline what objections were raised by Strategic to warrant the probe into the tender process.
The tender, which provides weekly services between Australia and the UAE, is understood to have been was won by Adagold Aviaiton in partnership with European carrier HiFly, which will operate an Airbus A330 on the routes. HiFly also operated A330s on behalf of incumbent Strategic for a number of years prior to Strategic Airlines operating the flights in its own right with its own A330-200, VH-SSA.
According to Defence, Strategic’s current contract is set to expire in October.