Paul Phelan/CAIRNS

Impulse Airlines aims to expand into regional jets and is to fund its growth with a share flotation, following its severing of links with Ansett Australia last month.

Impulse, based in Newcastle, New South Wales, operates feeder and hub-bypass services. It is preparing to raise funds with a public flotation and has applied for a high-capacity air operator certificate (AOC). It has also begun discussions about terminal space with key airport operators.

The new AOC would allow Impulse, owned by former TNT executive Gerry McGowan, to operate aircraft larger than the 19-seat Raytheon Beech 1900D. Impluse operates 20 Beeches. Impulse plans to expand into jet operations, with airline sources suggesting it is considering the acquisition of 100-seaters - either Boeing 717s or 737-500s. Although it will not disclose its planned fleet or route strategies, Impulse says any new route initiatives will be "incremental, not developmental", suggesting it has no plans to launch a Compass-style assault on the prime routes of Ansett or Qantas.

Instead, the airline is likely to build on its strategy of using Newcastle's Williamtown Airport as a hub, rather than Sydney.

Source: Flight International