||VIRGIN AUSTRALIA REGIONAL
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SKD-2011-08 - 1ST ATR
SKD-2011-11 - ATR 72-600 ORDER
Formed in 1963. Formerly Skywest Airlines (SKD). Domestic, regional, scheduled & charter, passenger & cargo, jet airplane services.
PO Box 176
Western Australia 6105, Australia
AUSTRALIA (COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA) WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1901, IT COVERS AN AREA OF 7,686,848 SQ KM, ITS POPULATION IS 17.9 MILLION, ITS CAPITAL CITY IS CANBERRA, AND ITS OFFICIAL LANGUAGE IS ENGLISH.
Skywest Airlines (SKD) is the result of several mergers between aviation operators throughout the country, and has its origins in Carnarvon Air Taxis in 1963.
April 1990: Skywest Airlines (SKD) was acquired by TNT Airways (TNB) and merged with Lloyd Aviation as part of Ansett Australia (ANS).
June 2002: Following the collapse of Ansett Australia (ANS), Skywest Airlines (SKD) was acquired by local company, Airline Investments.
May 2004: Launched international services to Bali, Indonesia from Karratha, Western Australia.
August 2005: 2004 - 2005 delivers the best operating results since incorporation of the company. +50% lift in net profit after tax of A$1.684 million. Ordinary revenues increased by +43% to A$73.258 million. Passengers = 301,000 (+41%); 242.6 million (RPK) passenger traffic (+77%).
Skywest (SKD) has again beaten big operators Qantas (QAN) and Virgin Blue (VOZ) to take out top honors in the nation's official comparison of airline punctuality.
The on-time performance statistics officially released for June showed 91.6% of (SKD)'s departures and 89.6% of arrivals were within 15 minutes of schedule.
This result was well ahead of Qantas (QAN) (78.7% and 78.8%, respectively) and Virgin Blue (VOZ) (86.8% and 85.4%, respectively).
(SKD) now had the opportunity to begin a new phase in promoting tourism in regional Western Australia, which now includes access to Shark Bay (Monkey Mia) and Kalbarri. "Kalbarri and Monkey Mia represent two areas of regional Western Australia where there is significant demand from tourists wanting to visit. Winning the tender for these routes provides an opportunity to (SKD) for growth over the next five years in terms of both passenger numbers and revenues. Servicing the additional ports will provide additional opportunities to service the tourism market in the Mid West and Gascoyne regions of Western Australia."
April 2006: In response to overwhelming community demand, Skywest Airlines (SKD) is increasing its jet services to Exmouth by adding a new Thursday service to its schedule, commencing from 4 May.
The 100-seater Fokker 100 service will now operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, with the Sunday flight connecting to Broome.
(SKD) will maintain its daily Fokker 50 service to Exmouth on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, and it's twice daily Fokker 50 service on Fridays.
(SKD) Chief Executive Officer, Johanna Ramsay said the additional jet service allows for an increase in tourism for the Exmouth/Coral Bay region.
"Since February, (SKD) has introduced an additional 416 seats on this route each week, significantly increasing air access to the Coral Coast, one of Western Australia's idyllic tourist destinations."
Flight time from Perth to Exmouth on the Fokker F 100 Jet is one hour and 45 minutes.
June 2006: Skywest Airlines (SKD) announced the launch of new flights and schedules on its Broome and Darwin jet routes.
Commencing 24 July, (SKD) will introduce daily return flights between Perth and Broome. Designed to compliment corporate and leisure travelers, (SKD) has scheduled all flights to depart for Broome 0600 on weekdays and return to Perth in the afternoons.
(SKD) (CEO) Johanna Ramsay said the introduction of the daily Broome service was a direct reflection of market demand. “Our current 4-days-a-week Broome service has been well supported, and market demand now supports a daily return service, ” Ms Ramsay said.
Further adding to (SKD)’s comprehensive network to northern Australia, the airline has rescheduled its return service between Perth and Darwin to depart 3 mornings per week.
“Rescheduling the Darwin fights from afternoons to mornings results in a more conducive schedule that suits the traveling needs of our passengers,” Ms Ramsay said.
(SKD) has also confirmed its commitment to continue Port Hedland and Karratha flights that currently operate Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Ms Ramsay said that recent discussions with several key resource bodies had brought positive outcomes, ensuring that the jet services to Port Hedland and Karratha were secure.
(SKD)’s Port Hedland to Bali service will also continue.
(SKD) will introduce an additional Fokker 100 jet into service to cater to the increased activity. (SKD) plans to further increase its fleet, with the purchase of additional Fokker 50 airplanes in the near future.
Johanna Ramsay said that the added capacity would allow (SKD) to take on more charter work and urged those organizations requiring corporate travel agreements or charter flights to consider (SKD).
All of (SKD)’s Fokker services offer a premium economy class product of hot meals, in-flight bar, Dome café quality coffee and the most spacious economy legroom of any Australian airline.
August 2006: The Avion Group (AID) said it formed a joint venture (JV) with Australasian airline group Advent Air Ltd calling for Avion subsidiaries, Star Airlines (STU) of France and Star German Airlines (SGU) of Germany to provide up to four A320s to Advent Air subsidiary Skywest Airlines (SKD). (SKD) will operate the airplanes from November to April, which is its peak season and Avion's low season. Additionally, Avion signed an agreement to purchase approximately 5% of Advent's currently issued share capital, representing an investment of £1.4 million/$2.7 million to be financed through Avion's equity and with debt. "The deal provides Avion Group access to the highly lucrative and fast growing Australian and Asian aviation markets through utilization of Star (STU)/(SGU)'s fleet, which comprise some of the newest and highest quality airplanes within the marketplace," Avion Chairman Magnus Thorsteinsson said.
Each year, (SKD) flies >320,000 people across Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and to Bali, providing an essential link for regional communities, tourists and businesses.
September 2006: Skywest Airlines (SKD) completed the purchase of an F 50 (20212, VH-FNE), ex-Denim Air (DNM) due for delivery in December 2006. It will be used to launch new flights and schedules on its Geraldton, Carnarvon, and Exmouth routes.
February 2007: Qantas (QAN) scotched rumors that it is contemplating cutting its investment in Singapore-based JetStar Asia Airways (JSA). (QAN) (CFO), and (JSA), Chairman Peter Gregg said in a statement that "(JSA) is, and will continue to be, an important part of the Qantas Group's diversification strategy." Local press reports have expressed concerns over the airline's future, following a number of operational cancellations and claims regarding pilot (FC) shortages. (QAN)'s rejection of those rumors comes as speculation mounts that (JSA) competitor Tiger Airways (TGR) is looking at launching domestic operations in Australia, in conjunction with Perth-based regional Skywest Airlines (SKD). (TGR) (CEO) Tony Davis joined the (SKD) board last year.
Just one day after reporting a thumping profit, (QAN) was brought back to earth, when Singapore's (TGR) unveiled plans to launch Australian domestic services by year end, with five new A320s.
During the announcement, (TGR) President & (CEO) Tony Davis took a cheeky swipe at (QAN), saying his airline is ready to "deliver Australians genuine low fares, competing in a market which has returned to a cozy duopoly and seen fares increase."
Australians actually enjoy some of the world's cheapest airfares, with transcontinental fares from A$189/$147 on (IMU) or A$219 on (QAN) with full service. But there is a twist. While (QAN) and Virgin Blue (VOZ) serve all major trunk routes, (IMU) connects secondary airports with major cities. (TGR) intends to bring its fares, which are similar to or lower than (IMU)'s, to major trunk routes.
Davis claimed that "Unlike others in this market, we won't be a low-cost carrier (LCC) selling high fares. We'll be low cost and very low fare." (TGR) will launch Singapore - Perth service next month, and has been flying to Darwin for some time. Davis outlined his carrier's plans to federal ministers last week, started the process to obtain an Australian Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) and has filed with Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board. Contrary to most countries, Australia allows 100% foreign-owned airlines to operate domestically if it is in the national interest.
The move by (TGR) has been expected, as (QAN) is the largest shareholder in Singapore-based (JSA), (TGR)'s biggest rival. (TGR)'s major stakeholder is Singapore Airlines (SIA). Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, Executive Chairman, Peter Harbison said he "sees (TGR) more focused on a direct attack on the local market, rather than providing support to the Singapore flag carrier. But (SIA) would not weep over any adverse economic impact on one of its major rivals."
Davis is on the board of (SKD), but it is not clear what cooperation will evolve between the two airlines.
May 2007: Paul Daff, ex-Head of JetStar Asia (JSA), assigned as (CEO) of Skywest Airlines (SKD). This appointment coincides with a split of (SKD) into two units: Daff takes over the scheduled passenger service known as (SKD), while Hugh Davin, former Head of Business Development, becomes CEO of the charter operations, now named "Skywest Aviation." The business is about evenly divided between scheduled and charter services, with the latter operating F 50s/F 100s under contract with mining companies.
January 2009: Domestic airfares in Australia have plummeted -30% in a year to the lowest point in 17 years, according to data released by the government's Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE). While the lowest fares fell dramatically, domestic business class (C) fares eased just -1% but are expected to decline more significantly in the coming months as the economy continues to slow and business confidence sinks to its lowest level since surveys were launched in 1998. An Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) investor confidence survey found that expectations for early 2009 were even worse than 2008. (ACCI) said business conditions and sales were at their lowest levels since 1998 when the survey began and profitability was at its lowest level in 7 years. The (BITRE) Domestic Air Fare Index is not expressed in actual fares but as an index. The January 2008 index of 56.1 is almost half that of January 1993.
Fares also are expected to nosedive on international routes from February, with some Australia-based airline executives describing forward bookings as "extremely weak." On the Pacific, V Australia (VAZ) is due to launch 777-300ER service on February 27 with fares starting at A$1,199/$827.65 return. Delta Air Lines (DAL) will launch Atlanta - Los Angeles - Sydney flights on July 1. On shorter-range routes, both Tiger Airways (TGR)/(TAU) and AirAsia X (ASX) are offering significant discounts, with a A$206 one-way Melbourne - Singapore fare and a A$199 one-way ticket to Kuala Lumpur from Melbourne and Perth.
September 2009: Skywest Airlines (SKD) is moving to acquire up to four A320 family airplanes to satisfy an upswing in demand for resource industry charters and to launch new international routes to Southeast Asia destinations. (SKD) deferred its announced plans to acquire the airplanes when the economic downturn struck last year, but Managing Director Hugh Davin said it has "dusted off plans" to order up the airplanes, a new type for the regional. While he was coy on details of the international expansion, insiders said that planning is underway for a range of options including services to Bali, Singapore, and Phuket.
Last month, (SKD), which is Australia's largest operator of fly-in/fly-out charters serving the resource industry, said it would add a 9th 100-seat F 100 for delivery in November to meet demand. In the past 3 years, its fleet of F 100s has tripled and the fleet of 46-seat F 50s has increased from 5 to 7. The industry expects that the 1st airplane could be put into service as early as the 1st quarter. "We are now out seeking suitable airplanes," Davin said.
November 2009: F 50 delivery. This airplane was purchased from a European source for A$2.1 million.
March 2010: Alliance Airlines, a Brisbane-based charter carrier, said it plans to acquire eight more F 100s starting in May to support natural resource-related contracts in Queensland and Western Australia. The airplanes will be purchased from a European operator and will lift Alliance's fleet to 19. Managing Director Scott McMillan said that the F 100 acquisition "is a major vote of confidence in the future of the resources industry in this region" and that the airplanes has been "extremely popular among the contract customers we serve."
Skywest Airlines (SKD) took delivery of a used A320, which will join a fleet of 9 F 100s and 8 F 50s. The airplane was painted in Manchester, UK, where (SKD) took delivery. It is understood that (SKD) will add at least 3 more A320s over the next 2 years to meet the upswing in demand from Australia's booming resource industry.
January 2011: Virgin Blue (VOZ) (later to become "Virgin Australia") and Skywest Airlines (SKD) have signed a 10-year alliance to create a regional network in Australia.
(SKD) will operate up to 18 new turboprop airplanes in Virgin Blue (VOZ) livery to existing and new destinations around Australia, says (VOZ). The airlines have not decided on the airplane type, says a (VOZ) spokeswoman. "They will, however, be airplanes with the latest technology," she adds. The first airplane will arrive in mid-2011, and four airplanes will be in operation by the end of this year. Details of the network and flights will be announced in the coming months, says (VOZ).
"The partnership will see (VOZ) expand its reach throughout Australia and will allow us to access untapped opportunities in regional Australian markets, in particular the booming fly-in fly-out resource sector market," said (VOZ)'s (CEO) John Borghetti.
(VOZ) and (SKD) will code share on some sectors of each other's domestic networks. The 2 carriers already have an existing code share agreement in place. "In addition to providing (SKD) with access to (VOZ)'s extensive network, this major strategic initiative provides us with the opportunity to significantly grow our corporate travel offer for resource sector and charter clients across Australia and internationally," says (SKD)'s Chairman Jeff Chatfield. The turboprop airplanes will be leased from Avation, with an initial term of 10 years. "The leasing arrangement means that (SKD) will not be exposed to the capital investment of owning the airplanes and will be a service provider and code share partner," added Chatfield.
(SKD) will also operate the airplanes on coastal networks in Western Australia, after receiving a license from the authorities to operate to these destinations from Perth.
August 2011: Skywest Airlines (SKD) is independently owned and operates the largest regional carrier in Western Australia, operating scheduled services from Perth Domestic Terminal to destinations within the state and to Darwin. (SKD) has operated a single international service to Bali, Indonesia, numerous connecting services and provides regional contract-based and ad hoc charter services for governmental and corporate clients, with the latter being primarily associated with the mining and natural resource industries.
Employees = 160.
(IATA) Code: XR - 608. (ICAO) Code: OZW.
Parent organization/shareholders: Advent Air (100%).
Alliances: Air New Zealand (ANZ); Qantas (QAN); Singapore Airlines (SIA); and Virgin Australia (VOZ).
Main Base: Perth International Airport (PER).
Domestic Scheduled Destinations: Albany; Argyle; Broome; Carnarvon; Darwin; Esperance; Exmouth; Geraldton; Kalbarri; Kalgoorlie; Karratha; Kununurra; Learmonth; Leinster; Leonaora; Monkey Mia; Perth; & Port Hedland.
International Scheduled Destination: Bali, Indonesia.
Skywest Airlines (SKD) took delivery of its 1st ATR 72-500 (974, VH-FVL "Preston Beach") from lessor Aviation PLC. (SKD) plans to operate ATR 72s under a 10-year branding agreement with Virgin Australia (VOZ).
3 more ATR 72-500s will be delivered to (SKD) this year, while 4 ATR 72-600s are slated to enter service in 2012. The (SKD) ATR 72s will replace Virgin Australia (VOZ)’s E170 jets and allow (VOZ) to launch additional routes, including from Brisbane to Gladstone and Port Macquarie, as well as increase frequencies on existing routes.
December 2011: Skywest Airlines (SKD) operates the 1st Fokker F 100 to implement Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B OUT), an Air Traffic Management (ATM) Surveillance system that replaces traditional radar based systems. (ADS-B) is a technology where airplane avionics broadcasts the airplane position, altitude, velocity and other parameters completely autonomously to ground stations feeding the (ATM) surveillance systems. (ADS-B) makes use of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) data to determine airplane position. Air traffic controllers will then see more reliable and accurate information on the airplane’s position and track even in areas where there is no (ATC) radar coverage.
“The main benefit for operators to start using this system is higher flexibility and priority in routes and clearance requests in areas with limited or no (ATC) radar coverage”, says Karel van Meekeren, Product Manager from Fokker Services.
“We are the 1st Fokker F 100 operator to implement this system” says Fred Crampton, Fokker 100 Fleet Manager from Skywest (SKD). “We hope to achieve more flexibility in our operation, particularly in areas of Western Australia, where traffic density is very high, due to the fly-in, fly-out workforce of the mining industry. Radar coverage is limited in these remote areas and (ADS-B) will reduce the reliance on procedural separation requirements.”
Fokker Services developed and certified the (ADS-B OUT) system for the Fokker 100. The system was installed in the (SKD) airplanes at the Fokker Services Asia facilities in Singapore, where the final certification testing was also carried out.
It is anticipated that all Fokker 100’s flying in Australia will successively be fitted with this system. (ADS-B) will be mandatory for operations above 29,000 feet in Australia from December 12, 2013.
January 2012: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has granted interim approval for a proposed corporate alliance between Virgin Australia (VOZ) and Skywest Airlines (SKD).
Under the alliance, the 2 airlines will offer bundled air passenger transport services to corporate customers seeking integrated charter, domestic and international services.
(ACCC) Chairman Rod Sims said the alliance is unlikely to result in permanent changes to relevant markets.
"It will only affect corporate customers who have the option not to acquire the integrated air services package from (VOZ) and (SKD) if they do not consider there is any benefit to them," Sims said.
The alliance is a further link between the 2 airlines, which started with code shares in 2009 and developed into a 10-year strategic and operational alliance providing regional service to Australia.
As part of that deal, (SKD) is operating (VOZ)-branded ATR 72s to new and existing destinations around Australia.
April 2012: Virgin Australia Holdings (VOZ) will invest A$8 million/$8 million in Skywest Airlines (SKD), giving it a 10% stake in the Perth-based carrier.
(VOZ) states the investment will “capitalize on opportunities in regional Australia by supporting further growth of (VOZ) and Skywest (SKD)’s regional partnership.” It will be made via a convertible facility with (SKD), which Virgin Australia (VOZ) can change to ordinary shares in (SKD) at a conversion price of A$0.45 per (SKD) share with a maturity date of April 15, 2015, and a coupon rate of 7.5% per annum. The deal is pending (SKD) shareholder approval.
“This investment highlights our belief in the growth potential of the Australian regional market and strengthens our partnership with Skywest (SKD),” (VOZ) (CFO) Sankar Narayan said.
Earlier this year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) granted interim approval for a proposed corporate alliance between the 2 carriers.
“We have grown our regional operations significantly since launching our regional network with Skywest (SKD) in October 2011 with the commencement of new services to Emerald, Gladstone and Port Macquarie. These services have been highly popular with the flying public and are already among our best performing regional routes,” said Narayan. “The fleet of four new ATR airplanes that we are using to operate these services will increase to 12 by the end of the 2013 financial year, and there is plenty of opportunity to further expand our regional footprint.”
OUR Airline (NAU) has started operating 3 weekly 737-300 services between Perth International airport (PER) and Derby Curtin airport (DCN) in cooperation with Skywest Airlines (SKD), which has taken over the route from bankrupt Air Australia (STG) and also operates 2x-weekly services with Fokker F 100s on the route.
August 2012: Skywest Airlines (SKD) has taken delivery of its 1st ATR 72-600 (1025, VH-FVP) that complements the 6 ATR 72-500s it already operates for partner Virgin Australia (VOZ). It has another 8 ATR 72-600s on order.
September 2012: Construction of Perth's new domestic terminal, scheduled to open in early 2013, is almost complete. The terminal, the first to be built in Perth in 26 years, will cater to regional travel in western Australia, facilitating travel for many fly-in fly-out passengers across the state.
It will have 16 check-in counters, 14 airplane gates, three baggage claim belts and a spacious departure lounge. The terminal is part of a A$750 million/$783 million expansion and redevelopment project at Perth airport, which is expected to handle up to 20 million passengers by 2020. The airport handled 12.6 million passengers in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011/12, a rise of +10.3% from a year earlier.
Expansion works began at the airport's international arrival hall at Terminal 1 in June. The terminal's immigration area and baggage claim hall will be relocated and expanded to minimize queuing and waiting times. "The international arrivals expansion will be completed by the middle of 2014 and will significantly improve the customer experience for western Australians and visitors to our state," says Perth Airport's (CEO) Brad Geatches.
The construction of a new domestic pier and expansion of the international departure hall is also expected to start later this year. Tenders for these projects, the "most complex" of Perth's redevelopment program, will close on September 10. "With the new domestic terminal currently being built in close proximity to the international terminal, it will primarily service regional western Australia as well as some interstate routes from 2013," said Geatches.
He added that the addition of the domestic pier at Terminal 1 will enable passengers to transfer seamlessly between regional interstate and international flights. The new domestic pier, measuring 200 m/656 ft in length, will include facilities like spacious check-in and arrival halls and a premium lounge for Virgin Australia (VOZ).
The international departure hall, meanwhile, will have a new check-in area with 18 additional check-in counters and a new lounge. The Terminal 1 domestic pier and international departures expansion project includes a "significant extension" of the existing terminal and the addition of a new two-storey pier.
Construction of an A380 gate will also be fast-tracked within the next 12 months to facilitate the introduction of regular A380 services by airlines.
October 2012: Virgin Australia (VOZ) has acquired 60% of Tiger Airways Australia (TAU), 100% of Australian regional, Skywest Airlines (SKD) and has sold a 10% stake to Singapore Airlines (SIA).
(VOZ) said the deals will accelerate growth, diversify earning and intensify competition in Australia. If approved, the Virgin Australia Group will grow to 139 airplanes and >9,000 employees. “The acquisition of Tiger Australia (TAU) and (SKD) provides Virgin Australia (VOZ) with a strong presence in the budget, Fly-in Fly-Out and regional markets, enabling us to fast-track our expansion in these areas and become a stronger competitor,” (VOZ) (CEO) John Borghetti said.
Specifically, (VOZ) has inked a share purchase agreement with Tiger Airways (TGR) to acquire control of (TAU) for AUD35 million/$33.2 million, plus a further AUD5 million if “certain financial performance targets” are hit within 5 years. It has agreed in principle to fully acquire (SKD) for AUD0.45 per share, which would be paid in cash and new (VOZ) shares, although the deal still needs to be approved by (SKD)’s shareholders. Finally, (SIA) will buy 10% of (VOZ) through a share placement.
If the (SKD) deal goes ahead, the airline will become part of the (VOZ) brand, but will continue to fly under its existing air operator’s certificate (AOC). (SKD) will also retain its own (CEO) and management team and continue to be based in Western Australia. “We launched a regional network partnership with Skywest (SKD) in October 2011 and now we will be able to realize the full potential of the operation through developing a more integrated network, service and frequent flyer program,” Borghetti said.
Under the (TAU) deal, (VOZ) and (TGR) are planning to enter a shareholder, brand licensing and services agreement. The partners have also agreed to invest up to a further AUD62.5 million in (TAU). “The joint venture has flexibility to grow Tiger Australia (TAU)’s fleet from 11 to up to 35 airplanes by 2018,” (voz) said.
“This transaction enables Virgin Australia (VOZ) to access the budget market and enables Tiger Australia (TAU) to expedite its growth, providing greater competition to this important market segment. By partnering with Tiger Airways (TGR), we can use our expertise to leverage (TAU)’s competitive cost base and build a sustainable budget carrier. We are committed to maintaining the (TAU) business model and brand, and we look forward to collaborating with (TGR) as the business grows,” Borghetti said.
November 2012: Skywest Airlines (SKD) has agreed with Singapore based lessor, Aviation PLC to take delivery of 3 additional new ATR 72-600s. (SKD) already operates 2 ATR 72-600s on behalf of its future parent Virgin Australia (VOZ) alongside 6 ATR 72-500s.
January 2013: Australia’s competition watchdog has approved Virgin Australia (VOZ)’s acquisition of Perth-based, Skywest Airlines (SKD), although hurdles remain.
In October, (VOZ) announced plans to acquire 60% of Tiger Airways Australia (TAU) and 100% of Australian regional, Skywest Airlines (SKD). Responding to the application, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it will rule on the Tiger Airways Australia (TAU) deal by February 7 and announced it will not oppose the (SKD) acquisition.
“The message that we received from the market was broadly supportive of the proposed acquisition. The services that (VOZ) and (SKD) supply are seen as largely complementary, rather than competitive with each other,” (ACCC) Chairman, Rod Sims said.
An investigation into the tie-up revealed overlap on just one route, between Perth and Broome. The (ACCC) therefore, concluded the deal is “unlikely to lead to a substantial lessening of competition.”
(VOZ) (CEO), John Borghetti welcomed the approval, saying: “The (ACCC)’s clearance represents an important step for Virgin Australia (VOZ) in completing the proposed acquisition of Skywest (SKD).” However, he added the deal still needs to be approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board, (SKD)’s shareholders and the Singapore High Court.
If the deal goes ahead, (SKD) will become part of the Virgin Australia (VOZ) brand, but will continue to fly under its existing air operator’s certificate (AOC). It will also retain its own (CEO) and management team and continue to be based in Western Australia. “We will invest to support the growth of Skywest (SKD),” Borghetti said.
Virgin Australia (VOZ) is Australia’s second largest airline after the Qantas (QAN) Group, operating a fleet of 100 airplanes on 3,200 weekly flights. Skywest (SKD) has 28 airplanes and provides regional flights within and beyond Western Australia.
February 2013: Australia's competition regulator has cleared Virgin Australia (VOZ)'s proposed takeover of Skywest Airlines (SKD).
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) Chairman Rod Sims says the takeover is "unlikely to lead to a substantial lessening in competition in any relevant market" as the 2 carriers only have overlapping services on the Perth - Broome route.
(SKD) operates regional services within Western Australia under its own brand, and also operates 10 ATR 72 turboprops for (VOZ) under a wet lease agreement. It has a large presence in the resource charter market, operating services on behalf of major mining companies. "The message that we received from the market was broadly supportive of the proposed acquisition," adds Sims. "The services that (VOZ) and (SKD) supply are seen as largely complementary, rather than competitive with each other."
Under the proposed takeover, (SKD) would remain as a separate subsidiary with its own air operator's certificate (AOC), but would operate under the (VOZ) brand. "This acquisition will enable us to accelerate our expansion in the high growth fly-in fly-out and regional markets, increasing competition in these important segments and bringing new benefits to customers," says (VOZ) (CEO) John Borghetti.
The takeover is still subject to more conditions, including approval from Singapore's High Court, Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board and Skywest shareholders.
(VOZ) announced the proposed cash and shares offer for (SKD) in October last year. (VOZ) also awaits the (ACCC)'s approval for its joint venture proposal with Tiger Airways (TGR), which would see it take a 60% stake in Tiger Airways Australia (TAU).
March 2013: Skywest Airlines (SKD) reported a consolidated net loss after tax of -S$2.2 million/-$1.8 million for the half-year ended December 31, 2012, reversed from a +S$4.5 million profit for the year-ago period. (SKD) said the results were due to challenging conditions putting downward pressure on loads and yields, as well as several non-recurring costs, including the carbon tax implemented on July 1, 2012 (S$2 million pre-tax).
Excluding these non-recurring costs, the result would have been profitable, (SKD) said. Revenue during the period increased +19% to a record S$173 million, up from S$145 million year-over-year.
Non-recurring expenses included preparations for the introduction of a second A320, consolidation of administrative offices into a more economic off-airport location, the transfer of Flight Operations from the existing passenger terminal to new facilities at Perth Airport’s new terminal, and advisory costs related to the proposed acquisition of Skywest (SKD) by Virgin Australia (VOZ).
In his report, Executive Chairman, Jeff Chatfield said the past 12 months had been “a period of great change for Skywest (SKD).”
Singapore’s High Court has given the go-ahead for Virgin Australia (VOZ) to acquire Perth-based regional carrier Skywest Airlines (SKD), marking one of the final hurdles for the deal. In October 2012, (VOZ) detailed plans to acquire 100% of (SKD) and 60% of Tiger Airways Australia (TAU). The deal has already been passed by (SKD)’s shareholders, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), and Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).
In a statement to the stock exchange, (SKD) said: “The directors are pleased to announce that the scheme was sanctioned by the court. The scheme shall become effective upon the lodgement of a copy of the order of the court with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore.”
(SKD)’s shares will be suspended from trading on the (AIM) and (ASX) stock exchanges March 27 so the acquisition can go ahead.
Skywest (SKD) expects to add 2 ATR 72 airplanes, bringing the total ATR fleet to 12 by June 30. It will add 1 A320 in March to bring the combined Skywest (SKD) and ARAN [Australian Regional Airline Network operated for Virgin Australia (VOZ)] fleet to 33. The company is also considering the acquisition of 2 other A320 airplanes.
April 2013: Virgin Australia Holdings has completed its acquisition of Perth-based regional, Skywest Airlines (SKD). It has also appointed Merren McArthur as Virgin Australia Group Executive Regional Airlines.
The deal was 1st announced October 30 and has been cleared by Skywest (SKD)’s shareholders, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board and the Singapore High Court.
Virgin Australia (VOZ) is in the process of creating a new brand: "Virgin Australia Regional" by acquiring Perth based Skywest (SKD).
Merren McArthur, who has been Virgin Australia (VOZ) Group Executive Alliances, Network & Yield since 2011, will take on the new position of Virgin Australia (VOZ) Group Executive Regional Airlines. She will be based in Western Australia and has been tasked with ensuring a smooth integration of the two businesses.
McArthur has been with Virgin Australia (VOZ) for more than >5 years and has previously held roles including Group Executive Corporate Advisory, General Counsel & Company Secretary. “We believe there is a need for more competition on regional routes and our plan is to grow the current operations and expand our network to new destinations throughout Australia,” McArthur said.
May 2013: Qantas (QAN) is upgrading its meals on transcon routes to Perth; its latest ploy to compete with the recent creation of "Virgin Australia Regional" from Virgin Australia (VOZ)'s acquisition of Perth based Skywest.
August 2013: Skywest Airlines (SKD) has not hired flight crew (FC) in 2013 so far.
October 2013: SkyWest Airlines (SKD) announced Bill Dykes will become VP Maintenance, effective January 7, 2014. He succeeds H Michael Gibson, who is retiring after 26 years with (SKD).
July 2014: News Item A-1: SEE ATTACHED - - "SKD-VIRGIN AUSTRALIA REGIONAL UPDATE-A/B/C/D/E."
News Item A-2: "Volcano Eruption Closes Four Indonesian Airports" by (ATW) Jeremy Torr, July 10, 2015.
4 major Indonesian airports have shut down on the island of Java due to the eruption of Mount Ruang, which has spewed large clouds of smoke, ash and volcanic grit >100 miles across the Indonesian archipelago.
Carriers including Jetstar (IMU), Garuda Indonesia (GIA), Korean Air (KAL), China Eastern (CEA), Virgin Australia (SKD), Singapore Airlines (SIA), SilkAir (SLK) and Air New Zealand (ANZ) have all canceled services. AirAsia (ASW) has canceled current affected schedules, but said passengers could apply for rebooking without additional charges.
The 10,800 ft volcano showed signs of instability early last week, resulting in a few local flight cancellations, but July 9 it began to spew large quantities of flames, ash and smoke up to 10,000 ft into the sky. The ash cloud has reached the adjoining island of Bali, caused flight cancellations for thousands of passengers flying into and out of Denpasar’s Ngurah Rai International Airport in the wake of the Australian mid-winter holiday surge. Reports indicate thousands of travelers stranded at the airport.
Strong westerly winds have compounded the problem, prompting Indonesian aviation authorities to close local airports at Banyuwangi, Jember, and Lombok. The ash cloud has spread >180 miles from the eruption site in E Java, causing severe disruption to operators.
“We are not satisfied it is safe to operate services in these conditions,” Jetstar (IMU) said. “Unfavorable winds have pushed the volcanic ash cloud close to Denpasar Airport and visibility remains an issue.” (IMU) said it regretted the disruptions caused by the cancellations, “but the safety of our customers and crew is our 1st priority.” Virgin Australia (SKD) said affected passengers would be able to change their booking to another flight within 14 days.
There is no current prediction for the length of the eruption, but the Indonesian Volcanology & Geological Hazard Mitigation Center (PVMBG) has raised Mount Ruang’s alert status to Level 1 after activity increased and it began producing molten lava and volcanic ash earlier in the week.
May 2015: Fokker F 100 (11305, VH-VZO) purchased off lease from Captive Vision Capital.
November 2015: Virgin Australia Regional (SKD) is to shift to an all-jet operation.
March 2016: "Australian Customs & Immigration Workers Begin Strikes"
by (ATW) Adrian Schofield, March 30, 2016.
Australia’s Customs & Immigration workers have launched strikes at Australian airports, following a postponement over the Easter travel period due to security concerns. A series of short strikes at major international gateways began March 30.
The Community & Public Sector Union had previously planned industrial action before and during Easter, including a 24-hour walkout at all international airports on March 24. However, the union heeded calls from Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull to cancel the strikes over Easter, in order to boost airport security in the wake of the Brussels Airport bombing.
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SKD-Fokker 100 - 2015-10.jpg
1 + 3 ORDERS A320-231 (V2500-A1) (429, /93 VH-FNP), AVIATION LEASED 2010-04 162Y.
0 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/P), (STU)/(SGU) WET-LEASED. RETURNED. 180Y.
7 FOKKER F 50 (PW125B) (20106, /87 VH-FNA; 20107, /87 VH-FNB; 20113, /88 VH-FNH; 20114, /88 VH-FNI; 20200, /90 VH-FNF; 20129, /88 VH-FND; 20212, /91 VH-FNE), FOR SKY AVIATION CHARTER OPERATIONS. 46Y.
1 FOKKER F 50 (PW125B) (20249, /94 VH-FSL), STANSTED AIRCRAFT FINANCING LEASING LEASED 2010-03. 50Y.
10 FOKKER F 100 (TAY 650-15) (11316, VH-FWH; 11318, VH-FWI; 11326, /91 VH-FNN; 11334, /91 VH-FNC; 11373, /92 VH-FNU; 11391, /92 VH-FSW; 11461, /95 VH-FNT; 11484, /94 VH-FNY; 11488, /94 VH-FNR; 11489, /94 VH-FNJ), FOR SKY AVIATION CHARTER OPERATIONS. 100Y.
1 F 100 (TAY 650-15) (11450, /94 VH-FSQ), 8F, 100Y.
1 F 100 (TAY 650-15) (11305, VH-FZO), PURCHASED OFF LEASE 2015-05.
6 ATR 72-500 (PW127) (954, /11 VH-FVH "FOUR-MILE BEACH;" 955, /11 VH-FVI "MISSION BEACH;" 974, /11 VH-FVL "PRESTON BEACH" - - SEE PHOTO - - "SKD-2011-08 - 1ST ATR;" 978, /11 VH-FVU; 979, /11 VH-FVM "WOOLAMAI BEACH;" 986, /11 VH-FVX), AVIATION (PLC) LEASED, EX-(SKD). IN VIRGIN AUSTRALIA COLORS AND TITLES. 2015-11: VIRGIN AUSTRALIA REGIONAL HAS DECIDED TO OPERATE AS AN ALL-JET OPERATOR. 68Y.
5 +5 OPTIONS ATR 72-600 (PW127) (1025, /12 VH-FVP; 1039, /12 VH-FVN; 1053, /12 VH-FVP; 1058, /12 VH-FVQ; 1073, /13 VH-FVY), AVIATION PLC LEASED 2012-08, EX-(SKD). IN VIRGIN AUSTRALIA COLORS AND TITLES. 2015-11: VIRGIN AUSTRALIA REGIONAL HAS DECIDED TO OPERATE AS AN ALL-JET OPERATOR. 68Y.
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SKD-1-SIR RICHARD BRANSON-2014-07
SIR RICHARD BRANSON, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, THE VIRGIN GROUP.
JOHN BORGHETTI, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO) VIRGIN AUSTRALIA (VOZ).
JEFF CHATFIELD, CHAIRMAN, VIRGIN AUSTRALIA REGIONAL.
Mr Chatfield is Managing Director of CaptiveVision Capital Ltd (an investment company of which he is the majority shareholder) who is the controlling shareholder of Skywest Ltd. He has held Director level and senior management responsibilities for companies in various industries with locations as diverse as New York, Amsterdam, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Perth, and Melbourne. Mr Chatfield's past experience includes the foundation of a global television advertising service, and the making of substantial investments on behalf of public companies. He has managed and closed a variety of capital raisings, an (IPO), strategic advisory, public equity issues and secondary offerings. Mr Chatfield holds a BE and MESc from the University of Western Australia.
MS MERREN MCARTHUR, VIRGIN AUSTRALIA (VOZ) GROUP EXECUTIVE REGIONAL AIRLINES (2013-04).
Merren McArthur, who has been Virgin Australia (VOZ) Group Executive Alliances, Network & Yield since 2011, will take on the new position of Virgin Australia (VOZ) Group Executive Regional Airlines. She will be based in Western Australia and has been tasked with ensuring a smooth integration of the two businesses.
Merren has been with Virgin Australia (VOZ) for more than >5 years and has previously held roles including Group Executive Corporate Advisory, General Counsel & Company Secretary. “We believe there is a need for more competition on regional routes and our plan is to grow the current operations and expand our network to new destinations throughout Australia,” McArthur said.
"Virgin Australia Regional" branding replaced Perth based Skywest (SKD).
MARK SHELTON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO), SKYWEST AIRLINES (SKD).
HUGH DAVIN, MANAGING DIRECTOR.
JOHANNA RAMSAY, CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER (COO) (2007-05).
Skywest (SKD) Chairman, Jeff Chatfield said "Johanna has both strong operational and strategic experience and knowledge that we are confident will result in Skywest (SKD) achieving continued profitability and growth into the future," he said. "Johanna has demonstrated that she knows the business." In March 2003, Ms Ramsay joined (SKD) as Commercial Manager before being promoted to the position of Chief Operating Officer in October of the same year.
She was appointed as Chief Executive Officer (Acting) in February 2005. Her career in the aviation industry spans 17 years, commencing with Ansett (ANS) and leading to various positions throughout Australia and Asia. Prior to joining (SKD), Ms Ramsay held the positions of Business Manager and Ground Operations Manager with National Jet Systems (NJS). Ms Ramsay is the holder of a Masters in Business Administration from Curtin University, Perth Australia.
ANDREW ROSTRON, HEAD OF AIRWORTHINESS & MAINTENANCE CONTROLLER.
Andrew joined Skywest Airlines (SKD) in 1999, and is currently responsible under Civil Acviation Regulation 42ZV for all airworthiness matters relating to Skywest (SKD)'s airplanes. In this role, he is also the accountable manager and interface with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) on all regulatory matters, which have a direct effect on engineering business within the airline. With over 30 years experience in the aviation industry regarding Airworthiness, Quality & Safety. In May 2003, Andrew was appointed to the Aviation Safety Forum Board (3 year term). This Board provides regulatory advice to the Federal Minister for Transport and liases with the Senior Executive of CASA on a variety of issues, which have an affect on the safety of Australian aviation in general.
TERRY COOPER, DIRECTOR OPERATIONS.
ERIC ROSE, CHIEF PILOT.
Eric's aviation career commenced in the UK in 1967 when he joined the RAF as a pilot. On migrating to Australia, Eric joined Skywest (SKD) in 1974, when it was known as Trans West Airlines. In his time at (SKD), he has been a Check & Training Captain, Simulator Check Captain, F 50 Fleet Manager, Head of Training & Checking, and was appointed to the Chief Pilot position in early 2005. Eric has over 18,200 flying hours experience.
KARN HAYNES, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER (CFO).
MIKE HOAR, CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER (CCO) (2005-07).
Mike joined Skywest (SKD) in October 2003 as Manager Business Development. He assumed his present role in July 2005. His career in aviation spans more than 25 years and he has held senior management positions with Pearl Aviation (Sales & Marketing Manager for Australia & SE Asia), and Skippers Aviation.
BILL DYKES, VP MAINTENANCE (2014-01).
Bill succeeds H Michael Gibson, who is retiring after 26 years with (SKD).
FRED CRAMPTON, FOKKER 100 FLEET MANAGER.