Alliance Airlines is hoping to capture a slice of the Brisbane-Emerald market by offering seats on its fly-in/fly-out service for sale to the public.
The airline hopes to sell the spare capacity on its three flights a week between Brisbane and Emerald with 80-seat Fokker F70LRs that currently service its mining and corporate contracts.
Alliance general manager for commercial Shane Edwards says there are enough seats for sale after all its mining and corporate commitments have been satisfied to make the venture worthwhile.
Edwards said flight schedules on its Brisbane-Emerald service were ideal for those in Emerald and the surrounding region looking for an opportunity to have a short holiday in Brisbane.
“They are definitely geared around that long weekend in south east Queensland for people coming from Emerald on a Thursday or a Friday evening,” Edwards told Australian Aviation on Wednesday.
“Our flight on Monday morning then gets you back into Emerald by 655 in the morning.”
The first flights with seats available for public sale start on Monday April 13.
While Virgin Australia and QantasLink already serve Emerald from Brisbane, Edwards believed Alliance’s flight times would offer people an alternative.
“They do a daily service and they obviously provide a more regular service but we can now provide a third option into Emerald,” Edwards said.
“I think it is good for the general public to have competition. Our prices are competitive with both Qantas and Virgin.
“We are not looking at undercutting them, we are just trying to provide a good service at reasonable prices.”
Alliance currently also offers seats for public sale on some of its fly-in/fly-out Karratha services in Western Australia. It has also done a similar thing on some South Australian routes, Edwards said.
The company said in February it was working to secure more non-mining related work after it swung a net loss of $25.8 million for the six months to December 31 2014, compared with net profit of $6.5 million in the prior corresponding period.
The statutory figure included a $41.4 million impairment charge on the carrying value of its aircraft fleet.
“Whilst Alliance remains committed to its main strategy of long term contracts with top tier mines which are in production, Alliance continues to develop ways to diversify its income, both in its customer base and geography,” the company said on February 12.