Port Hedland, Western Australia - New Australian carrier Pilbara Airlines has announced that it would use Karratha Airport, located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, as its primary base for flights to destinations in Asia.
Pilbara Airlines had so far only considered using Port Hedland International Airport, located 200 kilometers east of Karratha.
The airline plans to operate two A320 jets to serve Singapore Changi initially in late 2020 or early 2021. Hanoi in Vietnam and Manila in the Philippines will follow.
Karratha is the home of some iron ore and salt mining ventures as well as a natural gas extraction facility. The majority of its population are expatriates from Southeast Asia and neighboring regions who came to the region to work in the mines.
The airline is in the process of upgrading its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) to include large jets in its fleet.
The airline has a substantial infrastructure program and wants to construct a bond store with chiller and freezer facilities to permit the export of agriculture and aquaculture to produce, a Head Office for over 150 staff, a maintenance hangar, and an aviation academy to train pilots, cabin crew and engineers,
the company said.
It was founded in April 2009 as Austasia Airlines Pty Ltd before being renamed Air Timor (Australia) in March 2011. In September this year, it was again renamed, this time as Pilbara Airlines.