Capiteq Pty Limited, trading as Airnorth, is a regional airline based at Darwin International Airport in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. It operates scheduled and charter services in the Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, and East Timor.
Airnorth carries over 300,000 passengers per year.
Aircraft Logistics is a subsidiary company and the Part 145 Engineering division of Airnorth. Aircrew Logistics is a subsidiary company that employs the pilots and cabin crew for Airnorth.
Airnorth is a member of the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA).
Airnorth was established in 1978 and started operations on 4 July that year. It operated charter flights only until scheduled services were introduced in 1981. At this time, the airline's fleet included the first turbine powered aircraft in the Northern Territory, a Beechcraft Super King Air as well as a Douglas DC-3. In 1993 the Skyport Group became a major shareholder and Capiteq Ltd was formed. It was formerly known as Air North International. During the 1990s, Airnorth had a well established regional network and by 1997 had introduced both Fairchild Metro 23 and Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia turboprop aircraft to the fleet.
Beginning in September 1999, Airnorth operated charters from Darwin to Dili, East Timor, on behalf of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor. In 2000, this became a scheduled service, Airnorth's first international route.
In October 2003, Airnorth acquired the assets of Airlines of South Australia (ASA) with the intention of gradually merging the two companies and operating under Airnorth's Air Operator's Certificate. In March 2004 Airnorth acquired the assets of Emu Airways, but in 2005 sold off both ASA and Emu. On 9 November 2005, ASA and Emu Airways ceased operations.
In 2007, Airnorth introduced the Embraer ERJ-170 to its fleet, the first jet aircraft operated by the airline. In 2012, it announced a direct service between Darwin and Townsville, the first Australian airline to offer a non-stop connection between these cities.
On 5 February 2015, it was announced that Bristow Helicopters Australia Ltd., a division of the US-based Bristow Group, had acquired an 85 percent controlling interest in Airnorth. Bristow stated that Airnorth would retain its name and brand identity. Later in 2015 Bristow Helicopters Australia purchased the remaining shares to obtain full ownership.
Under Bristow's ownership, Airnorth responded to a downturn in the mining industry, restructuring the route network by withdrawing services to Karratha, Port Hedland and the Gold Coast. A fifth ERJ-170 joined the fleet in 2016. The increased availability of the jets allowed expansion into South East Queensland and Victoria, commencing operations between Wellcamp Airport near Toowoomba to Melbourne and Cairns from March 2016. Within months the airline added further flights from Wellcamp to Townsville with all three new routes codesharing with Qantas.
Bristow Group announced ongoing concerns regarding its financial position and its ability for future operations over the next 12 months. A major shareholder is pushing for the board to be replaced and underperforming Airnorth and Eastern Airlines to be sold.
The airline operates over 300 scheduled and contract charter departures weekly, serving 21 domestic and international destinations including:
Incidents and accidents
- "Australian Business Number results for Capiteq/Airnorth".
- "CASA website link to Airnorth's Air Operator Certificate".
- "Contact us Archived 8 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine." Airnorth. Retrieved on 10 February 2011. "Administration 4 Lancaster Road, Marrara."
- "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 27 March 2007. pp. 70–71.
- "Airnorth Operates Sophisticated Regional Jets in Some of the World's Most Challenging Environments". Bristow Group. 18 June 2015.
- Desloires, Vanessa; Thompson, Sarah (6 February 2015). "Bristow Group buys 85pc Airnorth stake". The Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
- "Bristow Helicopters Australia Acquires Controlling Interest In Airnorth" (Press release). Houston, Texas: Bristow Group. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
- "Airnorth axes Pilbara flights to the Kimberley and Darwin". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 19 April 2016.
- Stevenson, A (14 April 2015). "Airnorth to stop Mount Isa-Gold Coast direct flights as mining downturn impacts". Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
- Butt, P (25 September 2016). "Airnorth expects new jet to prove popular with passengers". Northern Territory News.
- "Airnorth begins Wellcamp operations". Australian Aviation. 14 March 2016.
- "Airnorth expands from Wellcamp with new Townsville flights". Australian Aviation. 9 September 2016.
- Huber, Mark (22 April 2019). "Shareholder Blasts Bristow's Board, Leaders". Aviation International News.
- Australian civil aircraft register search, using "Capiteq" as the search parameter; search conducted 12 October 2019.
- "Our Fleet". Airnorth.
- "Global Airline Guide 2019 (Part One)". Airliner World: 4. October 2019.
- "Two pilots killed in Darwin plane crash". Northern Territory News. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2010.[permanent dead link]
- "Media briefing: Aircraft accident at Darwin Airport". Australian Transport Safety Bureau. 22 March 2010. Archived from the original on 6 June 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2010.
- "Two killed in plane crash at Darwin". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australian Associated Press. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2010.
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