Regional carrier Skytrans will open a second base in Brisbane after winning a $25 million contract to provide air services for natural gas producer QGC.
The three-year contract with QGC commences at the end of October and covers nine return flights per week from Brisbane to Chinchilla and Taroom, Skytrans said in a statement.
Skytrans said it had purchased two 36-seat Dash 8s to service the new contract. The airline also has two Dash 8s at its Cairns base operating to the Cape York and Torres Strait.
Collings Airline Holdings, which includes rugby league player Johnathan Thurston as a shareholder, took over the Skytrans air operator’s certificate and rebranded the airline in April, after former owner Simon Wild shut down the airline in January.
Skytrans chief executive Michael Thinee said the airline was thrilled with the QGC contact win, which would also allow more former Skytrans workers to return to the company as it established operations in Brisbane.
“We are proud to be awarded this contract and the new employment opportunities it will provide Queenslanders,” Thinee said in a statement.
“We have been able to re-employ 18 Skytrans staff back into full time employment as pilots and cabin crew. We are also pleased to welcome new staff who have direct logistics experience managing flight operations for QGC customers.”
Thinee noted the number of staff at the company had doubled from 39 when Skytrans relaunched in April to 78 currently.
QGC managing director Tony Nunan said Skytrans would maintain “high quality and consistent flight services to support the airline’s operations and projects” after winning a competitive tender process that considered safety and local business development.
“We’re delighted that this contract will help a Queensland company to expand,” Nunan said in a statement.