Readers have drawn attention to the irony of a number of the new Virgin Australia services in Queensland being provided by Alliance Airlines, an independently owned airline which is a major player in the resources industry FIFO or fly in-fly out market.
Alliance clients include Qantas, for whom it also operates scheduled services.
As one reader points out:
Alliance Airlines, while simultaneously providing wet lease services to Qantas, on some of the same routes, will operate DJ flights between BNE-ROK (2x daily) BNE-PPP (daily) BNE-CNS (daily).
Amusingly on the Rocky route a passenger may have the choice of a Virgin flight operated by Alliance in a Fokker 100, and a Qantaslink flight operated by Alliance in a Fokker 100 less than an hour apart.
There has been little to no announcement publicly or to VA staff (that I’m aware of) explaining this move, a stranger one than the Skywest wet lease, as VA operates its own fleet of 100 seat jets.
Alliance mainly operates Fokker F100 jets, the quietest and largest twin engined jet made by the now defunct Fokker enterprise in the Netherlands, which also made the famous Fokker Friendship high wing turbo-prop that became the prime mover in Australian regional flying throughout the 60s and 70s.
A ride in an F100, whether on behalf of Virgin Australia or Qantas, is probably the most pleasant way to fly a regional route other than in an Embraer E-190.
Memo Virgin Australia. More E-jets, please.