Bravus and Skytrans team up for new flights
It would take Townsville workers at the Carmichael coal mine over six-hours to drive to work, and the same to get home from the Central Queensland mine at the end of their swing.
Bravus and Skytrans announced a multimillion-dollar partnership this year to not only improve the fly-in, fly-out experience for workers, but to also build jobs and deliver economic benefits for the North Queensland capital. And for those looking to build their aviation career in the north, it’s good news.
Under the five-year agreement, Skytrans will operate two Dash 8-300 series aircraft exclusively for Bravus Mining and Resources to provide more than 20 direct flights weekly between the Central Queensland mine and Townsville and Rockhampton.
Bravus Mining and Resources Chief Operating Officer Mick Crowe says the direct services meant less time on the road for staff, and more time at home.
“It has always been a key priority for Bravus Mining and Resources to maximise the off-work experience of our staff and contractors,” he says.
“These newer planes are a better transition for their commute. It’s a more comfortable ride and it reduces the travel time. Every minute at home is valuable.”
Importantly, he says the flights also mitigate the significant risks of drive-in, drive-out for their workforce.
“The commute is probably one of the most dangerous things a lot of mining people do,” Mr Crowe says.
“By putting our people on these planes – modern, well-managed, with high safety standards – we’re taking them off the road, and probably removing the greatest risk to their wellbeing.
“They get home quicker to their families in a comfortable environment. It’s a win-win all around.”
For the broader Townsville community, the multimillion-dollar partnership is also a win for jobs and opportunities in aviation.
The new 50-seat Dash 8-300s replace the smaller Dash 8-100 aircraft, which have a 36-seat capacity. The new planes and services will require additional operational staff and ground crew, notably aircraft captains and first officers, engineers, cabin crew and maintenance workers.
This means dozens more skilled jobs in regional areas for the North Queensland-owned and based airline.
Skytrans CEO Alan Milne says the certainty of the Bravus Mining and Resources contract would accelerate their growth.
“Over five years it will result in 20 new employees into the Skytrans operation,” he says. “For Bravus to support us in our growth is just a fantastic outcome.”
Skytrans will invest tens of thousands of dollars in facilities at Townsville Airport and Rockhampton Airport to support the new services.
Bravus Mining and Resources has a long-standing commitment to the communities in which it operates. With the ramp up in export of high-quality Australian thermal coal from the Carmichael mine, Bravus is continuing to deliver jobs, opportunities and community benefits in line with its commitment to locals.
Skytrans co-owner, North Queensland rugby league legend Johnathan Thurston, welcomed the investment in local communities.
“It’s exciting news,” he says. “We’re employing local people in those regions as well, Rockhampton and Townsville. It’s great work for Skytrans and Bravus to come together.”
About 750 workers are rostered onsite at the Carmichael mine each day. The recruitment hubs for fly-in, fly-out workers are Townsville and Rockhampton with a small number of flights also operating from Cairns and Mackay. Workers who live in the Isaac Region can drive to the mine if it is safe to do so.
The Carmichael mine is located more than 160 kilometres northwest of Clermont, and more than 300km from the coast.
Since construction of the mine started in 2019, Bravus has paid more than $1.5 billion to regional Queensland contractors and businesses.
Bravus Mining and Resources’ Mr Crowe says it is heartening to watch the development of regional businesses, especially Skytrans.
“They’re growing with us and we’re growing with them,” he says.
Image credits: Cameron Laird (www.cameronlaird.com)
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