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Alliance Airlines signs LOI for 8 Fokker 100 Twinjets

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Australias Alliance Airlines is to expand its operations in the Asia Pacific region with plans to acquire an additional eight Fokker 100 twinjets, taking its fleet of these aircraft to 19.

The Brisbane-based operator, which specialises in fly in-fly out services for many of Australias top-tier resources companies, has signed a letter of intent with a European vendor to acquire the additional 100-seat aircraft, to be delivered progressively from May, 2010.

The acquisition is the largest single investment by Alliance since it commenced services in 2002. The company currently owns 17 aircraft 11 Fokker 100 jets and six Fokker 50 turboprops.

The introduction of eight more jets will provide significant new capacity for Alliance, enabling it to respond quickly to the requirements of existing and potential new customers. The acquisitions also will create new jobs for pilots, cabin crew and maintenance engineers around Australia.

Our core business activity is the provision of aircraft on long-term contracts, mainly to the resources sector throughout Australia, said Alliance Airlines Managing Director Scott McMillan. We do not operate scheduled services on regular public transport routes ... As the resources industry continues to strengthen in this region, companies in Australia and increasingly in neighbouring countries are developing new sites, many of which are well beyond the route networks of scheduled airline companies.

Our investment in additional Fokker 100 jets is a major vote of confidence in the future of the resources industry in this region, and a strong sign of both our commitment to support the industry and our capability to do so, Mr McMillan added. In addition, we provide a wide-ranging capability to provide ad hoc charter flights for corporate and government customers and the addition of these aircraft will enhance significantly our ability to meet these requirements.

Alliance operates from four key locations its home base at Brisbane Airport plus Townsville, Perth and Adelaide. A fifth base will open at Cairns Airport in May.

The Fokker 100 has a flying range of up to 3,167 kilometres or 3.5 hours, enabling it to serve destinations throughout Australia and to continue to neighbouring countries in the Pacific and Southeast Asia. The Alliance jets are configured in a 2 x 3 seat, all-Economy Class layout.

The letter of intent to acquire the eight Fokker 100s is subject to certain conditions precedent, and final documentation.

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