Antarctic Airlink

Since 2007 Skytraders has been providing the Australian Antarctic Division
with the Airlink between Tasmania and Wilkins ice runway in Antarctica.

Skytraders is the world’s only civilian carrier to operate a twin-engined commercial airliner for the provision of regular services into Antarctica.

The Skytraders Airbus departs from Hobart, Tasmania, and flies directly to Wilkins ice runway in a little over four hours.

When flying to Antarctica, safety is paramount. The A319 aircraft provides a fast, safe and reliable service between Australia and New Zealand to Antarctica. Skytraders flights adhere to strict procedures that ensure the safety of passengers, crew and aircraft.

Unpredictable weather patterns in the world’s most southern continent have in the past given rise to enhanced risk and unwanted outcomes. Now the speed of the A319 combines with its unique combination of runway performance and fuel capacity to provide a level of safety and operational certainty never seen before.

The nature of Antarctic topography, temperatures and winds is such that weather can change suddenly and in ways which cannot be predicted with acceptable levels of certainty.

As a consequence, landing conditions anticipated on departure can prove to be very different on arrival. The A319CJ is designed with ultra-long range tanks, enabling the aircraft to return safely to its original port without the need to land and refuel.

The Antarctic ecosystem is both unique and amongst the most fragile on earth. Skytraders limit the need for extensive ground support infrastructure by equipping its aircraft with specialist remote field functions such as its onboard stairs.

The A319CJ provides expeditioners from many  international programs transport on its services between Hobart and the Wilkins Runway. In addition, large numbers of  flights are operated regularly between Christchurch and McMurdo Station for the American, Italian and other foreign Antarctic science programs.


An Australian company with extensive experience in the delivery of outcomes targeted to meet the
critical requirements of Government with a Technical Dispatch Reliability of 99.7% over the 2,600 sectors flown.

A principal mission objective of Skytraders is to partner with government organisations to provide the safest and most seamless delivery of their aviation needs in the most cost effective manner possible. In order to facilitate this function, the company has secured one of the widest ranges of technical approvals issued by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

Skytraders is one of the very few operators in the Australian Aviation Industry that holds 180 EDTO Approval. This Approval requires the company to maintain and operate aircraft to the highest possible engineering and operational standards. As we maintain strict adherence to these standards, we are able to fly up to 3 hours distant from the closest possible landing facility.

Our exceptional levels of operational reliability, engineering capability and flight procedures meet the world’s highest standards. Whilst most carriers with a 180 EDTO only have such approval on specific routes, Skytraders holds a CASA delegation to self-approve thereby enabling the flexibility which greatly enhances its long-range international charter capability.

Skytraders has extensive and demonstrated experience in providing aviation services to meet the operational needs of government clients. Skytraders’ 24-hour on-call operations centre is on constant standby to respond to their changing requirements.

Skytraders’ experience in providing services to government is as diverse as it is extensive. These services include:

  • Transporting visiting heads of state for the Department of  Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Flying  in support of PM+C to the G20 summit and similar overseas meetings
  • Undertaking search and rescue services for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority
  • Flying in support of Federal election campaigns
  • Providing emergency medical evacuations for the Australian Antarctic Division and other international government science programs from some of the most remote regions of Antarctica. This includes the world’s first mid-winter evacuation from Eastern Antarctica
  • Providing aerial surveillance of foreign vessels in Australian territorial waters
  • Providing aerial surveillance in the search for MH370
  • Providing a high altitude parachute training capability for the Department of Defence’s Special Forces
  • Providing air transport for the Australian Governor General

In addition to the services which Skytraders provides to the Australian Antarctic Division, we also hold long-term contracts with both the  Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Department of Defence.

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Skytraders provides a range of aviation services to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection that cover both domestic and international operations. A component of these activities is the provision of flights between such remote locations as Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Nauru and Manus Island.

Locations like these pose unique challenges. They generally have relatively short runways and are exposed to extreme weather conditions. In most cases they are some distance away from a viable alternate landing location in the event of a required diversion. Our fleet is perfectly structured to respond to all these issues and more.

The variable nature of our operations requires us to provide a highly flexible operations management structure and a consistent level of uniquely skilled aircrew. With these in place at all times, we stand ready to launch long range, multi-sector flights at extremely short notice as may be required in the national interest.

Department of Defence

Skytraders’ C212 aircraft have been modified for a military paratrooper configuration that allows for static line and free fall operations up to 25,000 ft. All of the design, manufacture and installation work involved in the extensive modification program was completed in-house at Skytraders own engineering facility.

This highlights the adaptable nature of our engineering capability and the base aircraft platforms.  As a result of our repurposing expertise, the C212s have also provided extensive services to some of Australia’s leading resource companies for Aerial Survey operations.

Private Charter

Our state of the art corporate jets offer the option of long range intercontinental
travel, with all comforts provided by our welcoming staff.

Skytraders has extensive experience in providing executive charter services to VIP clients, including Heads of State, Royalty, elite sporting teams and luxury tours. We know what you need, and the Skytraders A319 CJ is ready to meet the travel requirements of customers who seek the best.

Our focus is to ensure that travelers reach their destination having enjoyed a relaxing  and productive journey. Teamed with industry leaders in the provision of ground services, passengers enjoy a seamless itinerary regardless of location.

The A319CJ’s on-board air-stairs permit prompt embarkation and disembarkation without the need to await the provision of support by third party handling companies.

Unusual for an aircraft of this size, this feature enables operations that  can start anywhere – even from airports with limited or damaged infrastructure.

Our aircraft can also be fitted with stretchers for medical evacuations, or reconfigured to provide a facility for sporting teams to perform physiotherapy or sports massage. All our custom configurations can be provided at short notice to meet our clients needs.


Regardless of your transport requirement, Skytraders diverse experience
in aviation logistics will ensure that passengers and cargo are transported
cost-effectively with efficiency, reliability and safety.


The exceptional long range fuel tanks and integrated air-stairs provide added capability to the A319 CJ aircraft for emergency and medivac operations.

Logistics Planning

Skytraders also offer a load planning service with sector payloads and aircraft weight and balance data.

Remote Locations

Skytraders have extensive remote field experience in and around the Pacific. This highly specialised area of operations has seen aircraft such as the L100-30 used to provide logistical support to the mining industry in PNG. Skytraders has a specialist division dealing solely with remote field operations.