Alliance Airlines Opens New Queensland MRO Facility

Alliance Airlines' new Rockhampton MRO facility
Credit: Alliance Airlines

Alliance Airlines has opened its brand new $60 million MRO facility at Rockhampton Airport in Queensland, Australia. The three-bay facility will enable the airline to service its 70-aircraft fleet locally instead of outsourcing to Slovakia and the UK, where current maintenance contracts are based.

In addition to playing an important role in reshoring Alliance’s MRO activities from overseas to Queensland, the facility will grow the region’s aviation workforce and business opportunities.

“Alliance Airlines sees Rockhampton as a key hub for our operations, and this facility solidifies our long-term commitment to the region,” says Scott McMillan, managing director for Alliance Airlines. “We are absolutely confident that this significant investment in aviation will attract other industry participants to invest here in Rockhampton.”

The facility is expected to employ at least 100 workers by 2024. It will also offer at least 16 local traineeships and apprenticeships. Alliance currently has 10 employees at the facility and is actively recruiting to fill 11 more positions.

Construction of the $60 million facility was first announced in 2021. It was backed by a combination of loans and government funding, including a $25 million contribution by the Australian government and $175 million from the Queensland government’s Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.

According to a media release from Senator Anthony Chisholm, assistant minister for regional development, Queensland’s MRO industry is valued at $565 million and supports around 4,200 jobs. Madeleine King, minister for resources and minister for Northern Australia, says the new facility is expected to add $30 million annually to Rockhampton’s economy.

Alliance Airlines’ 70-aircraft fleet includes Embraer 190s, Fokker 100s and Fokker 70s. Earlier this year it signed an agreement to purchase 30 used E190s from AerCap, which will be delivered through January 2026.

The airline’s maintenance organization is certified by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority to provide line and base maintenance services in Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Essendon, Perth and Townsville. It also holds capability for avionics and airframe component services for Fokker aircraft.

Aviation Week’s 2023 Commercial Fleet & MRO Forecast estimates approximately $1.3 billion in MRO demand this year in Australia. Demand is mainly driven by engine maintenance, which accounts for 42% of the forecast, followed by components at 23% and line maintenance at 18%. 

Lindsay Bjerregaard

Lindsay Bjerregaard is managing editor for Aviation Week’s MRO portfolio. Her coverage focuses on MRO technology, workforce, and product and service news for, Aviation Week Marketplace and Inside MRO.