Cairns airline Skytrans co-owner, NRL player Jonathan Thurston with the company's Dash 8 plane. Picture: Brendan Radke.
Cairns airline Skytrans co-owner, NRL player Jonathan Thurston with the company's Dash 8 plane. Picture: Brendan Radke.

Potential for NRL great’s airline to expand to Rocky

SKYTRANS Airlines has begun advertising for cabin crew and pilots in Rockhampton, indicating the Queensland airline could be expanding to the region.

Expressions of interest for cabin crew, a contract operations manager and a B1 and B2 licensed aircraft maintenance engineer were advertised on job search website Seek on February 6.

On the Australian Federation of Air Pilots website, the company advertised direct entry Dash 8 captains and type rated Dash 8 first officer positions to be based in Rockhampton.

The job description details how Skytrans has a 'long and distinguished history in Queensland' with its head office based in Cairns.

It states "due to growth opportunities" expressions of interest are sought for those who are "interested in joining our growing team based in Rockhampton or Townsville."

The Skytrans fleet consists of Dash-8 and Cessna 208B Grand Caravan aircraft.

"Through our Regular Public Transport routes and charter flights, we seek to support the needs of all communities within regional, rural and outback Queensland and the Torres Strait," the company said.

Former Cowboys player and NRL legend Jonathan Thurston joined Skytrans as a co-owner in 2015 and is said to be "actively involved" in the company.

The firm also has regional offices in Townsville, Brisbane and on Horn Island int eh Torres Strait. .

Its current flights are from Cairns to Horn Island, Arukun, Lockhart River, Edward River, Kowanyama and throughout islands from Horn Island.

Corporate charter flights travel from Townsville to Osborne Mine and Brisbane to Taroom and Chincilla.

An urgent business item was discussed in confidential session at Rockhampton Regional Council's Airport, Water and Waste committee's meeting yesterday, related to an "airport business opportunity".

Council was not able to disclose any further information due to confidentiality agreements.

In recent years, RRC has been investigating the next steps towards a possible east-west airplane route from Rockhampton to Winton via Longreach, Barcaldine, Blackall, Alpha and Emerald.

Early last year, Rockhampton Regional Council commissioned an independent business case to assess the viability of the flights.

At the time, a 33 or 38-seater plan was discussed as an option for the route.

Skytrans's Dash 8 aircraft has a seating capacity of 38.

Skytrans management was contacted for comment on the potential move and the east-west routes but did not respond by time of publication.