Cobham awarded FIFO contract in Western Australia
Cobham Aviation Services Australia – Airline Services (QJE, Adelaide) has been awarded a new seven-year contract to continue to provide fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) services with nickel-cobalt E190s and DHC-8-Q400s from Murrin Murrin from Minara Resource excavation site in the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia.
Wholly owned by British-Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company Glencore, Minara Resources is Australia’s largest cobalt producer and a major nickel producer.
It is also a founding customer of Cobham, which has provided FIFO services to the Murrin Murrin site since mining operations began in 1996.
“Murrin Murrin operators pioneered FIFO in Western Australia, using an air bridge to connect workers to the site long before it became common practice,” said Cobham Regional Services General Manager Claude. Alviani, in a press release.
He said Cobham had switched to E190s and Q400s to service the site over the past six months, a transition welcomed by the mining company. “We welcome the addition of the low carbon aircraft to Murrin Murrin as we continue to produce nickel and cobalt which are essential commodities for the transition to a low carbon economy,” Brett said. Fowler, managing director of Minara Resources.
According to ch-aviation’s advanced fleets module, Cobham has five DHC-8-Q400s in the fleet leased to Chorus Aviation, GECAS and Nordic Aviation Capital respectively; plus three ERJ 190-100AR leased to GECAS and TrueNoord; and an ERJ 190-100LR leased from Falko Regional Aircraft. Its internal fleet includes four BAe 146-300 (QT), one BAe 146-300 (inactive), one ARJ85 (inactive) and four ARJ100.
Cobham said the new contract came at a pivotal time for the industry in Western Australia as the state prepared to open its borders. Cobham’s business development manager, Tim Pirga, said the company was well placed to move into the next phase of life with COVID-19. “We have a private terminal which allows us to offer bespoke solutions for COVID screening, health checks and passenger separation,” he said.