Virgin Australia started flying the FIFO charters from Townsville to Moranbah earlier in the week, and I was lucky enough to catch ATR 72-500 VH-FVH as it departed.
Virgin Australia's fleet of ATR 72's is operated by Skywest Airlines - a West Australia-based airline.
VH-FVH departed as "Virgin 701 Alpha".
Apparently, the charter will have no fixed days of operation as a result of the rotational work schedule for the workers that are utilising the charter. So far, Virgin ATRs have been noted last Monday night, Tuesday morning, and then again on late on Friday 20 July. The suggestion is that Virgin operations into Moranbah are likely to increase over time, with there certainly being a demand for Regular Passenger Transport (RPT) services to start, as well as increased demand for FIFO flights from centres such as the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. This could well be the case, with check-in counters for Virgin Australia popping up on both sides - public and charter - of the new Moranbah Airport terminal building.
We shall wait and see!!
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