Emu Airways, previously owned by EMU Air Charter, an
Adelaide-based airline which operates tourist flights to nearby Kangaroo
Island, has been acquired by Darwin-based aviation services company Capiteq Limited, as part of a major new coalition of regional air services in
The purchase was announced today in Adelaide as part of a broader
strategy by Capiteq to unite a group of independent regional airlines under
the single brand of RegionalLink Airlines.
The 30-year-old Emu Airways is the major air operator to Kangaroo Island,
an increasingly popular destination not only to domestic tourists but to
international visitors, who are attracted by wildlife including seals and
koalas, and the island's pristine environment.
Emu operates two 19-seat Beech 1900C aircraft on six daily return flights
between Adelaide and Kingscote on Kangaroo Island, a journey time of 30 minutes.
The airline also offers connections to and from arriving and departing
domestic and international services in Adelaide.
"The acquisition of Emu Airways is a key part of a broader national strategy
to link a series of independent regional carriers through Australia's first
airline franchise operation," said Capiteq Chief Executive Mr Michael Bridge.
"RegionalLink Airlines will own the franchise, and will act as a central
purchasing group to provide members including Emu Airways with affordable access to functions such as reservations, purchasing, yield
management, ground handling and information technology," said Mr Bridge.
"However, all of the participating airlines, including Emu, will continue to
trade in their local markets under their own names, the logos of which will
be featured on the fuselages of aircraft within the group."
Initially, the RegionalLink group will include two existing Capiteq
subsidiaries, the Darwin-based regional airline Airnorth and the South Australian based Airlines of South Australia.
Mr Bridge said the purchase of Emu Airways was an important strategic
step in the formation of a regional airline coalition under the RegionalLink
Discussions are now underway with several other regional carriers about
"Each of the airlines in our group will bring with it strong brand awareness,
expert local market knowledge and customer loyalty," said Mr Bridge.
"In return, we will deliver membership of a strong national brand in
RegionalLink, which we plan to expand progressively, and affordable access to a range of key services, which otherwise could not be afforded
by each individual regional airline."
While the acquisition of Emu Airways is effective immediately there will be
no significant changes to the airline's services.