Australia’s GAM Air Flying Essential Freight During Pandemic
Australian freight and charter operator GAM Air is providing regional and remote towns with air services for time-sensitive and essential freight throughout the pandemic period.
The priority now is flying medical supplies and pathology samples, says GAM Air marketing manager, Megan Jepsen, on behalf of the company’s operations team. She says the flights are linking the state capitals Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne to regional towns and cities.
GAM Air operates these flights five days a week for Australian logistics company Toll Priority, says Jepsen. She says they are using their fleet of 21 Aero Commander aircraft for these flights.
Having a good number of flights is important because public health officials have highlighted the need to assess and respond to outbreaks quickly, she adds. Some of the regional destinations include Mildura, in northwest Victoria, and Orange in inland New South Wales.
The Aero Commanders are used for the medical supply flights as payload is less essential, says Jepsen.
GAM Air’s two Dornier 228s are also being used to carry essential freight, says Jepsen who declines to say what type of freight due to commercial confidentiality reasons. She says the Dornier 228-202s are flying five days a week linking Brisbane to the Queensland towns of Emerald and Rockhampton.
The airline’s Dornier 228-202s are normally configured for 16 passengers and used for fly-in fly-out (FIFO) operations for resources companies. But the aircraft are being used to transport essential freight during the pandemic because the aircraft has a high payload, Jepsen says.
The Dornier 228 also provides the flexibility of operating on gravel and unprepared strips, which GAM Air says is important for the harsher Australian environments the airline operates in.
GAM Air operates about 16,000 flights yearly just for its freight network, Jepsen says. In addition to FIFO and freight operations, it also performs VIP charters, aerial work and non-engine maintenance on aircraft such the Dornier 228.
Photo: GAM Air