Here's an interesting article I've just come across in TT:
US airline plans Australia launch
Regional US airline Expressjet is preparing to launch flights in Australia in a move that will further boost domestic tourism. The carrier is looking to partner with an existing Australian airline to operate regional flights by the end of 2008.
Expressjet executive director Asia Ian Vanderbeek said discussions have taken place with a number of airlines. In the US, Expressjet operates 274 Embraer 145 jets, more than 200 of which fly under the Continental Airlines brand. A further 18 carry the Delta Airlines livery. Vanderbeek said it was planning a similar model in Australia and would look to build a fleet of 20 aircraft in the local market.
However if no existing carrier agrees a deal, Expressjet will launch flights under its own brand, Vanderbeek said. More than 40 of its US jets operate under the Expressjet banner. Vanderbeek said the Embraer jets will operate on “longer, thinner routes” which will complement existing carriers’ route networks and are currently under developed.
“There’s a role for this model with all existing carriers. It’s a question of how they perceive this sort of operation working,” Vanderbeek said. He said he hopes an announcement will be made within the next six months.
Perhaps they will partner with Virgin Blue and operate an extensive regional Australian network?
Interesting times ahead...
[Edited 2007-10-18 01:00:56]