Pionair Australia (PH, Bankstown) has acquired its first ERJ 190-100LR in the form of VH-SEF (msn 19000435), a 9.5-year-old regional jet previously owned by GOAL and dry-leased by Helvetic Airways (2L, Zurich).

The aircraft will be delivered to Australia in mid-November. It was retired by the Swiss regional specialist on March 21, 2020, and subsequently stored first at Zurich, then at Bratislava, and since at July 31, at Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg, CH airport, Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows.

Pionair already operates one Embraer aircraft - an ERJ 190-300 - on behalf of Air Kiribati (IK, Tarawa). Although it was delivered in March 2020, it has yet to be deployed into revenue service due to prevailing border restrictions affecting traffic to and from Kiribati. The aircraft, which has been operating test flights within Australia and to its future base at Tarawa airport, is currently parked at Toowoomba Wellcamp airport.

Although the Australian airline did not respond to ch-aviation's request for comment regarding its E190 plans, information on its website shows the aircraft will be available for charter flights out of Brisbane Int'l starting in January 2021.

Besides the two Embraers, Pionair exclusively operates BAe Systems quadjets - four freighters (three BAe 146-200(QT)s and one BAe 146-300(QT)s, with a further two ex-WDL Aviation -300(QT)s due), and four in passenger configurations (two BAe 146-200s and two BAe 146-200(QC)s). Three of the freighters operated on behalf of Qantas Freight (Sydney Kingsford Smith).