In a bid to enhance the safety, productivity and wellbeing of its people and contractors, Mineral Resources (MinRes) has contracted an airline to conduct direct flights from Brisbane to two of its Pilbara mine sites.

Australian-owned airline Skytraders will operate weekly return flights between the AvCair terminal at Brisbane Airport and MinRes’ Ken’s Bore and Wodgina mine sites.

The inaugural Brisbane-Ken’s Bore flight took off on 11 January 2024, with the 3,700km route taking five hours and 45 minutes travelling west and just under five hours on the return leg.

This represents a significant reduction in travel time and cost for MinRes employees and contractors who live in Queensland or elsewhere on Australia’s east coast.

MinRes’ General Manager People Facilities, Bethanie Ibrahim, said that direct interstate flights make it faster, easier and cheaper for MinRes’ people and contractors to travel to and from its sites.

“For many of our workforce who live in Queensland or elsewhere on the east coast, these services will reduce their travel time by one full day.”

Ken’s Bore is at the heart of Onslow Iron, one of the largest iron ore projects under construction in Australia. Ken’s Bore Airport became operational last year, allowing the project’s Perth-based teams to fly directly to site.

The weekly direct service between Brisbane and Wodgina, another MinRes site with its own airport, is set to commence in early February 2024.

Capacity on the Skytraders’ A319 aircraft has been reduced from 150 seats to 110 to ensure those onboard have more legroom to travel in comfort.

MinRes’ Executive General Manager People, Andrea Chapman, said, “These direct services will reduce fatigue and ensure our people have more time to spend at home with family and friends.

“It’s part of our commitment to redefine the FIFO experience, which also includes the construction of resort-style accommodation and an industry-leading food offering.”

Featured image: MinRes FIFO workers at the AvCair terminal boarding the inaugural Brisbane-Ken Bore flight. Image Credit: Mineral Resources.

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