The CEO of the Bristow Group, owners of Airnorth (Australia) (TL, Darwin), says they plan to transition out of ERJ 170-100LR operations into E190 operations but the lack of aircraft availability is delaying that.

Speaking at the Bristow's 3Q 2023 analyst's briefing on March 9, 2023, Chris Bradshaw said Bristow was forced to acquire additional E170-100LRs last year after talks about E190 leases proved fruitless. "We're looking at bringing in some additional leased new 190s for the Airnorth business," he said. "Those market opportunities really dissolved with the lessor. So, we're going to keep some 170s for a little bit longer than we expected. We actually purchased two of those E170s last year to facilitate the time line we're going to need to complete the transition. We are still looking to bring in the larger aircraft on attractive terms moving forward, but it's going to take a little more time to complete the transition from the E170 to E190s in the Airnorth business."

Airnorth operates scheduled passenger and charter flights, primarily out of Darwin. In addition to flying to Dili in Timor Leste, the airline operates scheduled flights to 12 destinations in Queensland, the Northern Territory, and Western Australia, as well as charter operations to multiple destinations across northern Australia. According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Airnorth has six EMB-120ERs, three E170-100LRs, and three ERJ 190-100ARs in its fleet. The latter aircraft are leased from Alliance Airlines (QQ, Brisbane International) after that airline began acquiring Embraer aircraft in 2020.

In addition to Airnorth, the Bristow Group has interests in fixed and rotary wing operations in India, Egypt, Nigeria, Brazil, Canada, Guyana, Mexico, Suriname, Trinidad, the US, the Dutch Caribbean, the UK, Norway, Spain, the North Sea, the Netherlands, and the Falkland Islands.

Bradshaw's comments on the difficulties of acquiring additional E190s for its Australian operation were made one week after Alliance Airlines announced that it had secured an additional thirty E190-100ARs for delivery between 3Q 2023 and 2026. ch-aviation has since confirmed that these aircraft are sourced from JetBlue Airways (B6, New York JFK). While Alliance Airlines hasn't outlined specific plans for their additional Embraers, they have thus far built up a solid business model using them on their own scheduled and charter operations as well as leasing them to other operators, including Airnorth and Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingsford Smith). The later airline already wet-leases 16 of Alliance's twenty-seven E190-100ARs and recently announced plans to grow that number to 30 by 1Q 2025.