BHP has extended its contract with Alliance Aviation Services to charter flights for the Olympic Dam mine site near Roxby Downs, South Australia.
The extension will cover a period of three years, with two 12-month extension options, and potential of a full term of up to five years.
Alliance has been servicing BHP at the Olympic Dam site since 2007. If the contract is exercised to its full potential following this extension, it will mark 19 years of continuous operations in Olympic Dam.
As well as extending the contract with BHP, Alliance will also be introducing a larger capacity aircraft for the Adelaide to Roxby Downs route, the Fokker 100, which seats 100 passengers.
The introduction of the Fokker 100 will coincide with the upgrades being completed at the Olympic Dam airport, which are scheduled for completion in February 2021.
Alliance, which employs 77 local staff at Roxby Downs and Adelaide is the largest provider of air charter services to BHP, servicing mines in South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland.
“Since our first service into Olympic Dam in 2007 we have safely transported in excess of 1 million passengers with industry leading on time performance throughout the last 14 years,” Alliance chief executive officer Lee Schofield said.
“Alliance is delighted to be in a position to provide jet services into Roxby Downs. Passengers will enjoy a smoother, quieter and, more importantly, a quicker flight between Adelaide and Roxby Downs with a reduction of 20 minutes, or 25 per cent.”
Last May, BHP presented Alliance with an aviation safety award, recognising its safe carriage of 3.5 million BHP staff and contractors on its chartered and scheduled services since the airline began charter flights for the mining giant in 2002.
The Olympic Dam mine is 560 kilometres north of South Australian capital Adelaide and produces copper, gold, silver and uranium.