Infobox Airline
airline = Pel-Air Aviation

logo_size =
fleet_size = 29
destinations =
callsign =
parent = Regional Express
company_slogan =
founded = 1984
headquarters = Mascot, New South Wales
key_people = Keith Johnson, CEO
hubs = Sydney
secondary_hubs = Brisbane
focus cities =
frequent_flyer =
lounge =
alliance =
subsidiaries =
website = []

Pel-Air Aviation Pty Ltd (trading as Pel-Air) is an airline based in Mascot, Sydney, Australia. It is a major air charter and ad hoc services provider, operating executive charter services throughout Australasia, as well as freight services through its wholly owned subsidiary Pel-Air Express. It also operates medevac and government support services. Its main base is Sydney Airport [cite news | title= Directory: World Airlines | work= Flight International | page= 62 | date= 2007-04-10] , with other bases at Brisbane Airport, Darwin International Airport, and Nowra [ [ Pel-Air website] retrieved 2007-08-27.] .


The company was founded in 1984 and the following year acquired its first Westwind aircraft. On October 10 1985 one of the company's Westwind aircraft crashed into the sea off Sydney after departing Sydney Airport on a flight to Brisbane; the two crewmembers were killed. [ [ Aviation Safety Database] ] In January 1989 it commenced scheduled passenger-carrying operations in Western Australia via subsidiary company Qwestair, initially with a leased Beech 200 Super King Air flying between Perth and Telfer. A Westwind replaced the King Air in March of that year and a Cessna 310 was added in January 1992 to operate between Port Hedland and Telfer via Marble Bar and Woodie Woodie. Qwestair ceased operations in November 1995 after the Perth-Telfer route was awarded to another company, and the two Westwinds then in use returned to Pel-Air operations. ["Australian Aviation" magazine annual Regional Airline Directories 1989, 1992 and 1996. Aerospace Publications.] .On April 27 1995 the company suffered a second fatal Westwind crash when one of its aircraft hit a hill on approach to Alice Springs Airport. [ [ Aviation Safety Database] ] Three people were killed in this crash, one of whom was a non-employee 'hitching a ride'; following this accident many freight aircraft operators in Australia banned this previously-common practice.

Also in 1995 Pel-Air took over Newcastle Aviation, an operator of Fairchild Metro III and leased Metro II and Mitsubishi MU-2 freighters. Following the takeover the Mitsubishis and Metro IIs were handed back to their owners and the Metro III fleet was expanded. In 1996 Pel-Air won a contract to provide support to the Royal Australian Navy, resulting in further expansion of the fleet with the acquisition of four Learjets. In 1997 Pel-Air acquired several Metro II aircraft and on-sold them to the Royal Australian Air Force for use as training aids at RAAF Base Wagga near Wagga Wagga. In 2003 the company introduced a new type into its fleet when it took delivery of a leased Beech 1900C freighter. The type proved to be more expensive to operate than the Metro III and the two aircraft in the fleet were handed back to their lessors.In 2005 another new type was added to the fleet when Pel-Air placed an Embraer EMB-120ER Brasilia freighter into service, for use on nightly flights between Sydney and Brisbane carrying Fairfax Media newspapers. Also in 2005 it was announced that Pel-Air would be purchased in stages by Regional Express Holdings; the company becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary in mid-2007. Also in 2007, Aspen Medical entered an existing joint venture between Pel-Air and CareFlight International to operate air ambulance flights out of Darwin International Airport using one of the Westwind aircraft.

In June 2008 it was announced that a Pel-Air Westwind II would be based at Perth Airport for use as an air ambulance in conjunction with CareFlight. [ [ "Jet ambulance to boost medical evacuation services in W.A. (Perth)"; CareFlight Media Release.] Retrieved: 5 September 2008] In August 2008 Pel-Air added another new type to the fleet, when it took delivery of its first Saab 340A freighter, previously operated in passenger service for many years with the parent company's other airline subsidiary Regional Express Airlines. It is expected to add most of the former REX Saab 340A's over the next couple of years.


As of September 2008 the Pel-Air fleet numbers 29, [ [ Australian civil aircraft register search, using "Pel-Air" as the search parameter.] Search conducted 2008-09-05.] consisting of:
*1 Embraer EMB-120ER Brasilia
*3 Fairchild SA227-AT Expediter
*7 Fairchild SA227-AC Metro III
*4 Fairchild SA227-DC Metro 23
*2 Gates Learjet 35A
*1 Gates Learjet 36
*1 Gates Learjet 36A
*7 IAI 1124 Westwind
*2 IAI 1124A Westwind II
*1 Saab 340A

Of these aircraft, the Brasilia, the Saab 340A and the Metro IIIs have been converted to freighters, while the Learjets and some of the Westwinds are operated in support of the training and operational requirements of the Royal Australian Navy. These operations include target-towing, (for which the Learjets have been modified); simulated air attacks on warships; and flights ensuring that live-fire exercise areas are devoid of civilian shipping.

Several of the Metro/Expediter fleet operate on behalf of freight-forwarding companies DHL, TNT and Australian air Express and are painted in the colours (or feature the logos) of these companies.

The Metro 23s were formerly operated by Regional Express Airlines on scheduled services and have been modified to be quick-change freight or passenger aircraft.

External links

* [ Pel-Air]


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