Charter and fly-in/fly-out operator Cobham Aviation Services has added a 98-seat Embraer E190 to its fleet to ferry gas workers between Perth and Chevron Australia’s LNG Gorgon Project on Barrow Island, off the northwest coast of Western Australia.
It’s the second time it has used the E190 regional jet for this purpose. In November 2014 it leased a 104-seat E190 jet but returned it to its European lessor in March 2018.
Its contract with Chevron was extended for five years to 2022 in September 2017. Cobham started flying to Barrow Island in 2010, with an Avro RJ100.
Along with the Chevron service, Cobham said it would also use the E190 jet for weekly return fly-in/fly-out (FIFO) services to the Goldfields area of Western Australia.
“This aircraft is a high performance platform which provides our customers with greater reliability and a significantly enhanced passenger experience,” said Cobham’s chief executive Ryan Both, citing the wider aisle and a 2 x 2 configuration in the main cabin.
“The aircraft offers substantially better operational uplift performance, particularly in hot weather at regional ports in the Pilbara, as well as being able to fly further distances compared to similar size aircraft.
“This reduces the need for additional fuel uplift in regional and remote locations and also cuts CO2 emissions by up to 15 per cent per trip.”
Cobham’s British parent Cobham plc said in April it would also add a 70-seat Bombardier Q400 to the Australian fleet in coming months to further bolster its FIFO capabilities. The Q400 would support fleet growth while the Embraer would gradually replace its BAe 146 fleet by the mid 2020s.