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Aviation Blog

Australia's Alliance Airlines to open Rockhampton MRO base – ch-aviation

Challenger 604

Alliance Airlines (QQ, Brisbane Int’l) is to construct a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility at Rockhampton airport in Central Queensland with AUD60 million Australian dollars (USD43.8 million) in development aid from the state government.
The base maintenance facility was needed to maintain the carrier’s growing fleet – expected to expand to 75 aircraft in the next 12 months – and which was currently being maintained abroad, Queensland Treasurer and Investment Minister, Cameron Dick, said in a statement.
Alliance Airlines chairperson Steve Padgett confirmed the airline had already invested AUD250 million (USD183 million) in its fleet expansion over the past year. The MRO would give the company better control and coordination of its fleet, minimise costs and exposure to border closures and currency fluctuations, and would increase efficiencies across the entire Alliance Group, he said. “Once the facility is fully operational, we expect to achieve approximately AUS20 million (USD14.6 million) per annum in full export replacement,” he added.
Alliance Airlines has 23 aircraft on order, according to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module. These include two ERJ 190-100LRs and twenty-one ERJ 190-100ARs to be added to its existing fleet of nine ERJ 190-100ARs. The airline also has twenty-five F100s, five F50s, and fourteen F70s, completing a fleet of 53 aircraft.
The funding for the hangar is being made available through Queensland’s Jobs and Regional Growth Fund. It comes in addition to a recently announced AUD25 million (USD18.2 million) from the Australian Government for upgrades to Rockhampton Airport to service the MRO facility.
The maintenance centre will create 98 new long-term, operational jobs by 2024, 81 of which will be aircraft maintenance engineers. It is also expected to create new business and job opportunities in avionics, aerospace technologies, wheels, tyres, brakes and landing gear, engine maintenance, interiors and upholstery, and cabin accessories suppliers.
Dick said the facility would directly boost the Queensland economy by almost AUD195 million (USD142.6 million) over the next decade. The state government has identified MRO services as a key growth opportunity for Queensland as outlined in the Queensland Aerospace 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan.
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Rex – Regional Express (ZL, Wagga Wagga) has announced it has appointed a high-profile law firm “to pursue all legal remedies” in its continued claims of “predatory and anti-competitive behaviour” by Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingsford Smith) on domestic regional routes.
This follows a long-standing stand-off between the two airlines over network expansion. Rex to date has filed running complaints that Australia’s largest airline is trying to push it out of its previously exclusive regional routes. Chief among Rex’s claims earlier this year was that Qantas and its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar Airways (JQ, Melbourne Tullamarine), as well as Virgin Australia (VA, Brisbane Int’l), were dumping capacity on the Sydney Kingsford SmithMelbourne Tullamarine route, on which Rex was a new entrant. Rex began jet operations on the highly competitive route in March, which sparked a price war between the three airlines.
Qantas was not immediately available for comment, but the airline has consistently denied any wrongdoing. It even has opened a dedicated section on its website responding to…
Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingsford Smith) has expanded its capacity purchase deal with Alliance Airlines (QQ, Brisbane Int’l) to now include a total of eighteen optioned E190 jets.
Under the original three-year agreement signed in February, Alliance agreed to provide QantasLink with three E190s based in Adelaide and Darwin with options to access 11 more for a total of 14 of the Embraer regional jets.
However, given the strong demand for travel between Australia’s regional centres with smaller capital cities, coupled with the need for greater frequencies instead of larger singular capacity, Qantas has exercised its option to call up five additional aircraft. This brings the total number of aircraft activated under the agreement to eight.
According to Alliance Air, the additional aircraft will be based out of Adelaide and will commence operating for Qantas from June 21, 2021. Each option is for an initial three-year period, and the remaining options are all still in place and can be exercised by Qantas in the future.
“Of this, three…
Alliance Airlines (QQ, Brisbane Int’l) has refinanced its debt facilities, due to expire in January 2022, allowing the airline access to an extended amount of AUD176 Australian dollars (USD136.3 million) to conclude its E190 expansion.
The arrangements include refinancing its current debt and introducing new, longer-term fixed loans, the company said in a stock market filing.
As previously reported, Alliance Airlines has commitments with Jetran for the purchase of sixteen ex-American Airlines E190s in addition to fourteen ex-Copa Airlines E190s from Azorra Aviation. To date, twenty-two of the Embraer jets have been settled with five operating revenue services. The remaining units will be entered into service progressively throughout 2021 and 2022, providing the company with substantial growth capacity.
It is using the incoming Embraer regional jets to replace its existing Fokker Aircraft fleet including twenty-seven F100s, four F50s, and fourteen F70s, the company said.
The extended debt facilities will be used for the settlement of the balance of the…
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