Monday 2 June 2008

New Operator and Aircraft for Norfolk Air

Norfolk Air today announced it had signed a contract with Nauru-based Our Airline to provide flights between Norfolk Island and Australia from May 21 next year.

The move follows the recent sale of Melbourne-based Ozjet Airlines, which has chartered a Boeing 737-200 to Norfolk Air since it began operations a little over two years ago.

Norfolk Air CEO Ewan Wilson said the island would get a newer-generation 737-300 aircraft under the terms of the contract, signed by the Norfolk Island Government as the owner of Norfolk Air.

“This is excellent news because we will be getting a newer generation airline that will not only reduce our fuel bill considerably but give us extra reach and capacity,” Mr Wilson added.

“We can also base the aircraft on the island and paint it in our own livery, and will be able to call on a second 737-300 as back-up, something that will improve our efficiency considerably.”

Mr Wilson said the agreement capped off a great year for Norfolk Air, which operates three services a week to Sydney and Brisbane, single flights to Newcastle and Melbourne, and is to start a second Melbourne flight on September 1 and a new Gold Coast service from October 2.

“Not only have we added new gateways but we’ve been able to improve our year round load factor and yield, and are on line for a second profit in as many years despite record fuel costs.”

He said the Our Airline contract provided for two highly regarded Australian aviation companies to service the new aircraft – Brisbane-based Jetcare for line maintenance work and John Holland Aviation Services in Melbourne for all heavy maintenance.

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