Qantas has acquired the charter airline Network Aviation for $30 million, as it plans to meet the demands by the mining industry for more flights into remote Western Australia.
Network Aviation’s fleet of two 100-seat Fokker 100 aircraft and six 30-seat Embraers is expected to grow by two more Fokker 100s under the take-over.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the acquisition presented “strong growth opportunities” due to the increasing number of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers, which represent about 150 mining employees in WA.
Network Aviation is the third largest FIFO airline in WA, with annual revenue of about $30 million.
While the company will become a wholly-owned subsidiary, Qantas said the charter airline, based in Perth, would continue to be managed by its current team, led by Lindsay Evans
Virgin Blue is also eyeing opportunities with FIFO workers, after expanding its code-share alliance with Perth airline SkyWest earlier this year, and will begin flying two wide-body A330 aircraft between Sydney and Perth next May.