Skywest is planning to place its first Airbus A320, VH-FNP, into service shortly with the long time Melbourne resident aircraft ferrying into its new Perth base on October 23.
The A320, which is configured in an all-economy configuration of 162-seats with a 31in pitch, arrived in Perth from Melbourne on October 23 after it was granted its Certificate of Airworthiness by CASA the day before. After it had arrived at the John Holland Aviation Services hangar in July, the aircraft underwent pre-service maintenance and airworthiness inspections for a number of months before its ferry flight to Perth.
“The aircraft increases our range by more than 100 per cent and we are achieving a 62 per cent increase in passenger capacity for a 25 per cent increase in fuel burn – the fuel efficiency of this aircraft is outstanding,” Skywest managing director Hugh Davin told Australian Aviation.
The A320 is now expected to enter service soon on contract charter flights between Perth and Fortescue Metals Group’s Cloudbreak mine, making it the largest jet servicing a private mine airfield in Australia. In time, Skywest is expected to introduce more A320s and operate them on scheduled services to major ports such as Broome, Port Hedland and Darwin, as well as its planned Broome-Singapore services.