Australian regional carrier Alliance Airlines plans to buy an additional eight Fokker 100 aircraft as part of an expansion of its operations.

The Brisbane-based carrier signed a letter of intent with an unnamed European vendor for the 100-seat aircraft, which will be delivered progressively from May. When the deliveries are completed, Alliance will have a fleet of 19 Fokker 100s and six Fokker 50 turboprops.

"Our core business activity is the provision of aircraft on long-term contracts, mainly to the resources sector throughout Australia. We do not operate scheduled services on regular public transport routes," says Alliance's managing director Scott McMillan.

"As the resources industry continues to strengthen in this region, companies in Australia and increasingly in neighbouring countries are developing new sites, many of which are well beyond the route networks of scheduled airline companies."

He adds that the aircraft increases the company's capability to provide ad-hoc charter flights for corporate and government customers. The additional aircraft would help it to increase its services out of its four bases: Brisbane, Townsville, Perth and Adelaide. A fifth base will open at Cairns Airport in May.

The Fokker 100's range of up to 3,167km or 3.5h, enables it to serve destinations throughout Australia and neighbouring countries in the Pacific and South-East Asia, says Alliance.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news