Alliance has announced it will launch four new return routes, including the first direct commercial service between Brisbane and Weipa, and the Sunshine Coast and Emerald.
The new routes in full are:
- Brisbane to Weipa (Once weekly, Mondays);
- Cairns to Weipa (Once weekly, Thursdays);
- Sunshine Coast to Emerald (Twice weekly, Monday and Tuesday); and
- Brisbane to Emerald (Twice weekly, Monday and Tuesday).
The deal to fly to Weipa is in partnership with Rio Tinto and comes after Alliance agreed to a similar deal with MMG to allow the general public to book tickets on services between Brisbane and Cloncurry, and Townsville and Cloncurry.
The move significantly re-establishes a non-stop flight between the Queensland capital and outback town – currently passengers must fly via Qantas or Virgin and transfer at Townsville.
The services began on Tuesday, 2 February 2021 and utilise Alliance’s 100-seat Fokker 100 aircraft.
Brisbane to Cloncurry will operate once per week, return, on Tuesdays, while Townsville to Cloncurry will operate twice weekly, return, with morning and afternoon options on Tuesday.
The schedule also allows for day trips to Cloncurry departing Brisbane and Townsville.
Alliance has been one of the few success stories of the pandemic, capitalising on the reduced schedule of larger carriers and the need for COVID-adapted planes.
In May 2020, it even announced it had increased profits that financial year by $7 million.
The good results allowed it to sign a deal for 14 new E190 jet aircraft in June 2020 and then a further 16 in December 2020. The aircraft will join its existing fleet of 24 Fokker F100, 14 Fokker 70LRs and five Fokker 50 turboprops.
“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 Alliance’s managing director Scott McMillan.
“With many airlines not flying and the increased demand for a 100-seat narrow-body configured aircraft in the Australian market, this acquisition is more than opportunistic, it underpins our expected growth.
“Given the reduced passengers on mainline routes due to COVID-19, the E190 has the potential to be the perfect aircraft type for some mainline routes.
“Our purchase of 21 aircraft from Austrian Airlines in 2015 resulted in significant growth opportunities as well as providing a long-term supply of spare parts at minimal cost for our ongoing operations.”
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