AAP Finance

Alliance Airlines buying five new jets

By AAP Newswire

ASX-listed charter aircraft company Alliance Airlines is buying another five regional jets to better serve Australia's booming mining industry.

The Brisbane-based company said on Wednesday it was buying five Fokker 100 aircraft from Swiss airline Helvetic Airways AG, as well as all of Helvetic's spare engines, parts and tooling.

The acquisition builds on Alliance's purchase of 21 Fokker planes from Austrian Airlines in December 2015 for $US15 million.

Alliance Airlines managing director Scott McMillan said Alliance had increased its fleet by 11 aircraft "to meet the needs of a resurgent resources sector, satisfy the demand for wet-lease services (where one airline flies planes for another airline) and service the growing opportunities within the tourism sector".

The company has also on-sold several of the Austrian fleet as well as spare parts to Fokker operators in the southern hemisphere, Mr McMillan said.

The twin-turbofan Fokker 100, which can seat up to 122 passengers, was produced in the 1980s and 1990s by Dutch aircraft maker Fokker until it went bankrupt in 1996.

Alliance has 23 Fokker 100s, 11 smaller Fokker 70s and five turboprop Fokker 50s, and says it is the largest supplier of spare parts outside of Fokker.

Helvetic retired the planes to replace them with the more modern Embraer E190s but Mr McMillan said they were in excellent condition.

Alliance calls itself Australia's major fly-in, fly-out operator, with daily flights to BHP's Olympic Dam mine, Groote Eylandt in the NT, and Cloncurry, Queensland, as well as wet leasing services for Virgin Australia,

Alliance shares were up 16 cents, or 6.27 per cent, to a one-and-a-half month high of $2.71 at 1603 AEST.