Cobham Aviation Services has added Alliance Mineral Assets to its stable of fly-in/fly-out (FIFO) mining clients.
The two-year contract will comprise two return flights a week between Perth and Kalgoorlie for the mining company’s Bald Hill lithium and tantalum mine, Cobham Aviation Services said on Thursday.
“It is fantastic to welcome a new customer and a new resource to our growing portfolio,” Cobham Aviation Services vice president of regional services Dean Brennan said in a statement.
“Lithium in particular has been in high demand in recent years with the rise of electric vehicles and more sustainable transport solutions.
“We are seeing more and more mining companies exploring this resource which is used in batteries to store clean energy. We are pleased to support the growth of this sector in Western Australia.”
In 2018, parent company Cobham plc commenced a restructure of its Cobham Aviation Services unit into two regionally-based businesses, one focused on Australia and the other on the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
The Cobham plc financial results for calendar 2018 published in March said work on the restructure was ongoing, with “new management teams in place, enabling improved customer focus and more efficient decision-making with simplified reporting lines”.
Cobham Aviation Services posted an operating profit, or earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of 12 million pounds for calendar 2018, down from 22.8 million pounds in the prior corresponding period.
The company said results reflected exchange rate movements, the completion of a UK defence contract and restructuring costs of 3.5 million pounds.
“In Australia, additional work was secured in the natural resources sector including new fly-in, fly-out contracts with Oz Minerals, the Independence Group and Dacian Gold, but was offset by lower flying activity for Chevron, following a new contract phase agreed in 2017,” Cobham plc said in its full year results.
Cobham Aviation Services chief executive for Australia Ryan Both said in the December 2018 edition of Australian Aviation there were “green shoots” emerging in the FIFO market amid firmer commodities prices and an uplift in demand.
In addition to FIFO services, Cobham Aviation Services also operates 20 Boeing 717s for Qantas subsidiary QantasLink under a 10-year contract renewed in 2016, and operating four overnight BAe 146-300 freighters for Qantas.
It also has a $640 million contract with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority for search and rescue operations with Bombardier Challenger 604 jets.