Alliance Airlines plans to establish a “significant operational base” at Rockhampton on Queensland’s central coast.
The proposed new base was announced on May 3 by Queensland minister for state development, manufacturing, infrastructure and planning Cameron Dick.
Rockhampton would join Alliance’s permanent maintenance and office facilities in Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Darwin servicing more than 40 Fokker aircraft.
Alliance Airlines managing director Scott McMillan said he was confident that Alliance would become a significant participant in Rockhampton’s local economy and community.
“Alliance is proud of the community contributions we have made in all the regions that we have established bases and we look forward to continuing this in Rockhampton,” McMillan said in the minister’s statement.
Alliance, founded in 2002, has a strong presence in fly-in/fly-out (FIFO) work for the resources sector, but has been making moves to diversify its exposure by expanding into tourism, wet and dry leasing, sales, and spare parts as the resource sector investment boom subsides.
Minister Dick said the $12.5 million project would support up to 30 new full-time jobs in its first year of operation, growing to 58 over the next five years.
Further, it was supported by Queensland’s Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund, which offered financial incentives to businesses to relocate to or expand in the state.
“This new operation brings greater connectivity, potential new routes, increased private charters and new tourism ventures to Central Queensland, with crew, maintenance, and aircraft to be based in Rockhampton,” Dick said in a statement.
“For the people of Rocky, it also means that during natural disasters like flooding, fires or cyclones there will be improved access to large commercial jet aircraft.”
In addition to its FIFO operations, Alliance has also been flying a number of routes on behalf of Virgin Australia, including Brisbane-Rockhampton.
The two carriers also have a partnership in the charter and FIFO markets that received regulatory approval in May 2018.
Virgin Australia chief executive Paul Scurrah offered his congratulations.
“Virgin Australia has a great partnership with Alliance that allows us to provide an excellent service into Rockhampton,” Scurrah said in the minister’s statement.
“As a Queensland-based airline, we have a strong commitment to regional flying and connecting Australians around the country and the world.”
In February, Alliance reported net profit of $9.85 million for the 2018/19 first half, up 40 per cent from $7.1 million in the prior corresponding period.