Australia’s Alliance Aviation Services has bought five Fokker 100 jets to boost its stockpile of spare parts and take advantage of opportunities in Australia and the South Pacific.
The Australian company has signed a binding purchase agreement with Switzerland’s Helvetic Airways for the five twin jets as well as all of the Swiss carrier’s spare engines, parts and tooling.
The airline said the purchase built on the strategic rationale of its purchase in late 2015 of 21Fokker aircraft from Austrian airlines.
This included the ability to expand its fleet as well as expand its economic life and secure major components at a lower cost.
It also diversified the company’s revenue streams and enhanced its positions the biggest supplier of engines and spare parts outside of Fokker.
Alliance managing director Scott McMillan said the Helvetic aircraft were in excellent condition and had come straight from operating services in Europe.
“Since the 2015 fleet purchase, we have increased our operational fleet by 11 aircraft to meet the needs of a resurgent resources sector, satisfy the demand for wet-lease services and service the growing opportunities in the tourism sector,’’ McMillan said.
“We have also successfully onsold several of the Austrian fleet as well as establishing ongoing engine leases and we continue to seel increasing amounts of spares parts to all major Fokker operators in the southern hemisphere.”
Production of the F100 ended in 1997 after the production of 283 of the 100-seat aircraft.
The aircraft is popular with companies servicing resources markets because of its low capital cost and operating flexibility.
Alliance currently operates 23 F100s, 11 smaller Fokker 70s and five Fokker 50 turboprops.
The Brisbane-based company has been traveling well and recently announced that it expected to announce the best pre-tax result in its 17-year history.
It said it expected its 2019 pre-tax profit for the year ending June 30 to be $32.5 million, 25 percent higher than its fiscal 2018 result and ahead of analysts’ expectations.
The company’s success has attracted the attention of bigger rival Qantas, which earlier this year announced it had paid $A60 million to take a 19.9 percent stake in Alliance.
Qantas also signaled that it wanted to take a majority stake in Alliance in the longer term to “better service the resources market”.