Skytrans is starting a fly-in, fly-out charter service. Pilot Scott Hayward with first officer Kelly James.
Skytrans is starting a fly-in, fly-out charter service. Pilot Scott Hayward with first officer Kelly James. Kari Bourne

New charter flies in 400 workers

A NEW fly-in, fly-out charter operation will bring about 400 mine workers from the Sunshine Coast to Clermont from Monday.

Mining giant Rio Tinto Coal has signed a long-term contract with independent airline Skytrans to run four extra flights a week from the Sunshine Coast Airport to Clermont.

It has also been confirmed that other mining companies, including Australia's largest resources firm, BHP Billiton, will consider adding to the services. Skytrans' south-east Queensland manager Steve Bellamy said the additional flights connected the Sunshine Coast directly to the mining companies.

"More and more people are wishing to work in the mines and this gives them the opportunity to do so," Mr Bellamy said.

"Mining companies will now be looking to the Sunshine Coast for employees because these services are available, instead of paying for employees to travel to Brisbane."

The two Dash 8 aircraft, which can carry up to 50 miners, will fly about 400 employees to and from Clermont every week.

The new service adds to the Sunshine Coast's existing Aergo charter flights to Middlemount, Clermont and Moranbah.

It was understood that BMA - a joint venture between BHP and Mitsubishi - was looking to the Sunshine Coast for fly-in, fly-out workers for its Caval Ridge mine near Moranbah.

Mr Bellamy said Skytrans would welcome the move and increase its Sunshine Coast fleet to cater for the mining demand.



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