Alliance Airlines (QQ, Brisbane Int'l) will operate the Brisbane Int'l-Mount Isa route on behalf of Qantas between December 4, 2017, and March 2018, the North West Star has reported.

The Australian mainline carrier's regional brand QantasLink decided to change the subcontractor on this route in order to improve reliability on other services. The freed B717-200 capacity operated by Cobham Aviation Services Australia will now be used as a backup in a case of operational delays or cancellations on other routes.

The route to Brisbane is the most important service at Mount Isa airport, currently served 13x weekly by Qantas and 4x weekly by Virgin Australia International. It provides a vital link for the mining settlement in western Queensland. Alliance Airlines already operates this route on behalf of Virgin Australia.

The change will lead to a significant drop in capacity since the Fokker 100s can only seat up to 100 passengers, while B717s can carry up to 110 or 125 passengers depending on the configuration.

Alliance Airlines currently operates only two own scheduled routes: 17x weekly service between Adelaide and Olympic Dam and 1x weekly service between Cairns and Groote Eylandt, according to the ch-aviation schedules module. The airline's main business is wet-leasing capacity to Virgin Australia International and fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) charters.