Fly-in, fly-out charter operator Alliance this morning launched its first scheduled flights from Brisbane to the coal mining town of Moranbah in Queensland.
A Fokker 70, VH-QQW msn 11569, departed as QQ2834 at 6:05am and landed at 7:25am. The airline will now operate seven weekly services, Monday to Friday, with two services on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Qantas also operates a rival daily service.
Alliance chief executive Lee Schofield said, “We understand that access to reasonably priced fares has been an issue for a number of years and we are excited that more and more Moranbah and region passengers will experience the speed, comfort and reliability of the Fokker 70 jet at a reasonable price.”
Earlier in August, Australian Aviation reported that Alliance agreed a $111 million deal to purchase 14 114-seater Embraer E190s.
The business said the aircraft will predominantly fly regional routes and hinted its moderate size made it perfect for a post-COVID-19 market.
“Alliance, since inception in 2002, has a track record of purchasing aircraft at opportunistic times and at significantly reduced value to their market value,” said managing director Scott McMillan.
In May, the airline surprisingly announced it had increased profits this financial year by $7 million, which it credited to its ability to adapt planes for coronavirus.
The deal with US-based Azorra Aviation will see the first of the 14 E190s arrive from September and also includes six spare General Electric CF34 engines, as well as the option to acquire a further five of the Embraer jets.
Alliance currently operates a fleet of 24 Fokker F100, 13 Fokker 70LR jet aircraft and five Fokker 50 turboprops with an additional F70LR to enter the fleet in 2020.
“Alliance Airlines would also like to acknowledge the support of partner and local mining operator Peabody, whose support has assisted us in commencing these services and providing competition on this important route,” Schofield said.