Australian mining-support and tourism-charter carrier Alliance Airlines is expanding its Adelaide operations, selecting the city as the location for its second national maintenance facility to support a rapidly growing jet fleet.
Alliance Airlines, which already uses Adelaide to conduct line maintenance and heavy engineering on its fleet of 50-seat Fokker 50 turboprop aircraft, is broadening its Adelaide activities to include major maintenance on 100-seat Fokker 100 and 75-seat Fokker 70 jets.
The carrier will hire another 10 engineers to provide added maintenance capability in Adelaide, taking to 84 the number of staff employed by the airline in the South Australian capital. Two Fokker 100s will arrive in Adelaide from Europe in early August to undergo major maintenance checks prior to entry into service on the airline’s growing Australian network.
In the fourth quarter of 2011, Alliance will permanently base a Fokker 100 at Adelaide Airport. This will be the first time it has based jet aircraft in South Australia. The aircraft will help support current and future customers with contract and charter flights, according to the airline.
Alliance Airlines has also expanded into tourism, entering agreements with several major Australian travel companies to fly holidaymakers on charter flights from around Australia to key South Australian tourist destinations, including Kangaroo Island, the Flinders Ranges, Lake Eyre and Coober Pedy.
“Since we opened our Adelaide base in 2007, it has become increasingly important to us as both a maintenance and operations hub for our Fokker 50 fleet,” says Scott McMillan, Alliance Airlines’ managing director. “We started in South Australia with two Fokker 50 aircraft and 18 staff, but have grown in a relatively short space of time to five F50s and 74 staff – and we will continue to expand.”
Adds McMillan: “Our national operations have increased so substantially that our core maintenance facility in Brisbane will soon be fully utilised, and we need to establish a second major base to support our growing fleet of jets, which recently increased from 16 to 20. Adelaide is the natural choice at this time in our development, having already grown into a significant technical support centre for our turboprop aircraft.”
McMillan declares: “We are close to securing regulatory approval to expand our Adelaide capabilities to include jet maintenance, and will advertise nationally this week for 10 more aircraft engineers.”
In addition to the new jobs created directly by Alliance Airlines in Adelaide, McMillan says the carrier’s continued expansion in Adelaide will create opportunities for local suppliers, as well as new opportunities for skilled workers in the Australian aviation industry. Alliance Airlines’ continued investment in Adelaide is also a strong vote of confidence in the economic outlook for South Australia, according to McMillan.
Alliance Airlines operates, or has acquired, a total fleet of 18 Fokker 100 jets, two Fokker 70 jets and five Fokker 50 turboprops, for contract and charter operations within Australia and beyond on regional international routes. For more information about Alliance Airlines, visit www.allianceairlines.com.au.