Avia Solutions Group has finalised its acquisition of Skytrans (QN, Cairns), providing the ACMI specialist with its twelfth air operator's certificate and a presence in the Southwest Pacific. Avia announced the deal's closure in a March 4 statement.

"This acquisition is part of our larger strategy, which is aimed at limiting the impact of seasonality while giving us access to new growing markets in Asia-Pacific and further afield," said Jonas Janukenas, CEO of Avia Solutions Group.

Skytrans is an established airline based in northern Queensland that operates scheduled passenger and charter flights, including closed charter FIFO services. Its fleet comprises 13 turboprops including five DHC-8-100s, one DHC-8-300, one DHC-8-Q300, and six Cessna (single turboprop) 208B Caravans. Avia says it intends to introduce at least one A321F and one passenger-configured A319-100 to the Australian market by the end of the year. ch-aviation flagged this in a report last month.

"Passenger operations will be our main area of focus, with cargo being an area we’re willing to explore and develop in 2024 and beyond," Janukenas said.

Skytrans is the second Australian operator to be acquired by a Europe-based entity in as many years, with ASL Aviation Group buying Pionair Australia (Sydney Bankstown) in 2023 and rebranding it ASL Airlines Australia.

None of Avia Solutions Group's airlines operate turboprops, but ch-aviation is advised that Skytrans' new parent is willing to continue the existing turboprop services in Queensland while they remain profitable. Meanwhile, the expansion into jet operations will allow Skytrans to compete with the likes of Nauru Airlines (Nauru), which has a handy business wet-leasing its passenger and freighters to small carriers in the region, often at short notice.