Cobham Aviation Services is to introduce two new aircraft types to its fleet to better meet FIFO [fly-in, fly-out] customer demand.
Later this year Cobham will add the 70-seat Bombardier Q400 turboprop and the 100-passenger Embraer E-Jet to its expanding fleet.
Cobham Aviation Services Australia chief executive Ryan Booth told WestBusiness the company had done an extensive strategic review of its customers’ needs for short-range operations and selected the Bombardier Q400.
“The Q400 is an important addition to our FIFO fleet. With its new Q400 aircraft, Cobham is again leading the market forward and providing our FIFO customer with unique options to suit their needs,” Mr Both said.
“It is a modern in-production aircraft with jet-like speed, highly efficient fuel consumption and low carbon emissions.”
The Q400, which is also used in Australia by QantasLink, fills a niche in the short-to-medium, up to 850km segment in the FIFO market.
“QantasLink has successfully proved the Q400 product works in Australia. Now it is time for Cobham FIFO customers to access this technology and efficiency,” Mr Both said.
The Q400 will augment the current fleet and support growth while the company’s BAE 146/RJ fleet will continue to be a key part of its operations until the middle of the next decade.
However, the reintroduction of the Embraer E-Jet family by Cobham flags it will play a role in the eventual replacement of the company’s BAE 146/ RJ fleet.
Cobham used the E-Jet from 2015 until early last year on a Barrow Island contract.
With more availability of the E-Jet in the market the time is right for reintroduction and it is expected that the Embraer family of E-Jets, which spans several models, will be widely used for FIFO operations.