UP AND AWAY: Alliance Airlines Fokker F100 VH-UQF departing Rockhampton Airport.
UP AND AWAY: Alliance Airlines Fokker F100 VH-UQF departing Rockhampton Airport. Russell Prothero

$12.5m project to see more jobs, flights and routes for CQ

ROCKHAMPTON is set for more jobs, more flights, more routes, with the announcement an airline will set up a new base in the Beef Capital as part of a $12.5 million project.

Alliance Airlines will expand its Queensland operations and establish a new base in Rockhampton, thanks to the Queensland Government's Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund.

State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick said the new $12.5 million project was expected to support up to 30 new full-time jobs in its first year of operation, growing to 58 over the next five years.

"This new operation brings greater connectivity, potential new routes, increased private charters and new tourism ventures to Central Queensland, with crew, maintenance, and aircraft to be based in Rockhampton," Mr Dick said.

"For the people of Rocky, it also means that during natural disasters like flooding, fires or cyclones there will be improved access to large commercial jet aircraft.

"The Queensland Government has worked closely with Alliance Airlines to land this valuable regional service for Queenslanders, which will create local jobs and grow the local economy," Mr Dick said.

Alliance managing director Scott McMillan, said today's announcement by Alliance Airlines is the first step in developing a significant operational base in Rockhampton.

"We are currently advertising to employ Rockhampton locals, as part of this government initiative in becoming a substantial contributor to the Rockhampton economy," Mr McMillan said.

"Since Alliance was founded in 2002, with the assistance of the State Government, we have grown to become Australia's largest charter operator specialising in charters for the resources sector.

"Alliance has grown from a Brisbane head office and maintenance facility with two Fokker 100 aircraft to now having permanent maintenance and offices in Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Darwin and in excess of 40 Fokker aircraft."

He said the tremendous support of the Queensland Government and the positive discussions Alliance had with Rockhampton Regional Mayor Margaret Strelow, he was confident in years to come Alliance will be a significant participant in both the local economy and community.

"Alliance is proud of the community contributions we have made in all the regions that we have established bases and we look forward to continuing this in Rockhampton."

Virgin Australia Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Paul Scurrah congratulated both the State Government and Alliance Airlines for announcing this commitment to regional Queensland.

"Virgin Australia has a great partnership with Alliance that allows us to provide an excellent service into Rockhampton," he said

"As a Queensland-based airline, we have a strong commitment to regional flying and connecting Australians around the country and the world."

Rockhampton and Keppel MPs Barry O'Rourke and Brittany Lauga welcomed the investment into the region.

The Queensland Government's $105 million Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund offers financial incentives to encourage businesses to relocate to or expand in Queensland.