Qantas is reportedly in final negotiations to buy out WA charter carrier Network Aviation to gain greater access to the resource charter market.
According to the Australian Financial Review, Network’s board met last week to consider the $30 million plus takeover offer. The newspaper did not name a source, but claims that at that price that it would be equal to approximately six times the company’s earnings before interest and tax for 2010. Qantas has yet to confirm the negotiations or rumoured price, and is not expected to do so until a firm agreement has been reached.
Network operates a fleet of nine aircraft including three Fokker 100 jets which operate solely on contract charter services. Australian Aviation understands that it is majority owned by the family of managing director Lindsay Evans.
If confirmed, the acquisition would give Qantas a greater foothold in the WA resource charter market which has been dominated in recent years by Skywest, Alliance Airlines and Cobham Aviation Services. It could also form a part of Qantas’s bid to operate RPT turboprop intrastate services under the new aviation framework put forward by the WA state government in previous months.