FEDERAL MP Warren Entsch says he has no doubt that new Skytrans owners Peter Collings and Johnathan Thurston will continue to build on the airlines’ reputation as a strong regional operator and an outstanding corporate citizen.
“It’s great news that Skytrans will return to the skies and I’m sure that Peter and Johnathan will follow in the footsteps of Simon and Shelley Wild, who built a sterling reputation for community service,” Mr Entsch said.
“We shouldn’t forget that much of the success of the Taipans can be attributed to the support of Skytrans at a time when the Taipans were struggling; this is just one example of their generosity.
“What is particularly exciting with the new Skytrans is the partnership of the owners in Collings Airline Holdings.
“In Peter Collings, we have an experienced aviator who has serviced the Torres Strait and Cape York for many years – initially with MacAir and, after selling MacAir, with West Wing Aviation, a very familiar name in our region.
“In Johnathan Thurston, we have an indigenous entrepreneur who I believe would be one of the first Aboriginal airline operators in Australia. I’ve got no doubt that the outstanding success that Johnathan has shown flying on the football field will no doubt continue as he soars through our Far Northern skies.”
Mr Entsch said the news of the resurrected service will be a welcome relief for Cape York’s communities, for whom the RPT and freight services provide a much-needed lifeline.
“The use of the 36-seater Dash-8 aircraft will increase capacity and counter many of the freight issues that were emerging after the original Skytrans ceased to operate,” Mr Entsch said.
“In addition, the fact that West Wing has purchased all of Skytrans’ hardware and invited 39 Skytrans staff to stay on certainly shows that they are totally committed to our community.
“I’d like to offer my sincere congratulations to both Peter Collings and Johnathan Thurston and I look forward to travelling with them as I visit communities in Cape York and the Torres Strait.”