Qantas today announced it has secured a three year air services agreement with Roy Hill Iron Ore, strengthening its position as the airline of choice in the charter market.
Qantas will commence charter operations between Perth and the Roy Hill mine site in the Pilbara on 13 August, supporting the construction and development of the $10 billion project, which is expected to become one the largest iron ore mining projects in Australia.
The charter flights will be operated by Qantas-owned Network Aviation using its 100 seat Fokker F100 aircraft, starting with three return flights per week from Perth to Roy Hill’s certified airstrip, Ginbata, and will increase according to project demand.
Qantas Domestic Chief Executive Officer, Lyell Strambi said he was delighted that Qantas was successful in securing the charter contract and looked forward to working with the Roy Hill team on their Pilbara venture.
“The Roy Hill contract is the latest win for Qantas and an important milestone in our push to further develop regional and charter services across Australia,” Mr Strambi said.
“The agreement demonstrates Qantas’ strength in the fly-in, fly-out business and affirms our strategy of investing and expanding our charter operations through Network Aviation.”
Roy Hill Executive Darryl Hockey said Qantas was chosen for the contract because of its proven track record in safety and reliability.
“Qantas was successful because it offered a competitive package of services backed by its demonstrated reputation for safety and reliability,” Mr Hockey said.
“Over the project construction period, it is expected that 8500 skilled worker positions will be utilised by sub-contractors and the new charter deal will ensure the right people are available at the right place at the right time.
“Once production begins in 2015, safe and dependable air services will be critical to the ongoing efficiency and productivity of the Roy Hill operations,” said Mr Hockey.
Construction of Roy Hill’s 2.5km airstrip, Ginbata, was completed in early 2013 and is certified to support large jet operations, up to a Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Qantas purchased Network Aviation in 2010 to meet the needs of the growing resources sector and to bring new competition to the marketplace.
Network Aviation has the largest fleet of 100 seat single-class Fokker F100 aircraft in Western Australia and will welcome its 12th aircraft in August 2013.