It is more than a quarter of a century since Skytraders was awarded the Austrade gold medal for its contribution to the nations export industry. In the interim the company has continued its ongoing search for pioneering aviation technology.

AUSTRADE Gold Medal Award

Skytraders’ contribution to the nation’s exports was recognised in 1990 by the Commonwealth Government’s award of the Austrade Gold Medal. Skytraders’ uniquely designed and patented shipping pack was recognised to be of such importance to Australia’s eventual dominance of the Japanese market that one is now permanently exhibited at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.

Airbus Award

Charles Campion, Airbus EVP Customer Services (left) with Antonie Viellard, Airbus VP A320 Family (right) presented Skytraders with the Airbus Award for: – Pioneering the first flights to the Antarctic by any airliner – The first landings on an ice-runway by any Airbus aircraft – The first operations on the continent by an Airbus Corporate Jetliner.

Medical Evacuation

Enviroment Minister Tony Burke commended the combined effort of Skytraders’ and the Australian Antarctic Division in repatriating an expeditioner from America’s Antarctic base. This was the earliest ever winter medical evacuation from Eastern Antarctica.

Customised bundle drop support system

First in Australia to develop and certify a customised bundle drop support system for the Australian Defence Force.

Retractable skis on a FAR25 transport category aircraft

Skytraders developed, certified and built a retractable ski system for the CASA 212 which resulted in the first transport category aircraft to be put on skis in 40 years. This innovative ski design allows takeoffs from wheeled runways to a landing on snow or vice versa. Skytraders subsequently received the first ever Supplementary Type Certification for a snow ski to be fitted to a FAR25 Transport Category Aircraft.

Guinness World Record

On 11 July 2010 EFLIGHT-2010, a chartered Airbus A319-115 LR/ACJ, remained within the umbral shadow of a total solar eclipse for 9 minutes and 23 seconds. The flight was organised by Eric Brown and astronomer Glenn Schneider (both USA) and executed by Skytraders Australia. It carried 36 passengers and 7 crew members to view totality over the Pacific Ocean some 1,500 miles east of Tahiti, at an altitude of 39,000 feet.

Skytraders History

Founded in 1979, Skytraders is an Australian based, privately owned airline with extensive operating experience in the global aviation industry. We are constantly innovating in order to ensure that we provide our clients with the best custom solutions for their individual needs.

1979 – 1993

Commencing in 1979, Skytraders was contracted for the weekly movement of 40 tonne DC8 loads of chilled lamb and produce to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. With the introduction of 747 freighters, Skytraders pioneered the movement of live cattle by air from Australia and also developed a special container known as the ‘Skybox’. This allowed for the transport of fresh carcass beef from abattoirs to end users in Japan without the need for refrigeration. As a consequence of Skytraders technology Australia became the largest supplier of high-end fresh chilled beef to the Japanese market. By 1990, Skytraders itself had become Australia’s largest shipper of export airfreight and was awarded the Austrade Gold Medal by the Australian Federal Government.

1993 – 2002

In a joint-venture with Qantas and DHL, in 1993 Skytraders commenced a nightly express service between Sydney and Auckland that utilised a Boeing 727-100 freighter. The program addressed the need for moving large numbers of thoroughbred bloodstock at the same time as meeting the international express operator’s requirement for trans-Tasman close of business pick up and next morning delivery.

2002 – Present

In 2002, Skytraders was awarded a long term contract by the Australian Antarctic Division for the provision of a range of Antarctic air services. Two years prior we had tendered a radical, non-compliant proposal for the design and construction of an Air Transport System in Antarctica. Our unique approach has resulted in operationally superior systems, as well as safer outcomes for Antarctic science.

Future Objectives

Skytraders’ history is based on the development of world-leading technology in specialist areas of aviation. The company has, since its foundation, worked closely with a range of private and government agencies in pursuit of the development of innovative approaches to technologically complex aviation problems.

The company is the holder of one of the broadest ranges of Civil Aviation Safety Authority approvals held by any Australian airline. Skytraders does not, however hold out regular public transport services to the travelling public and has sought such delegations for the purpose of ensuring that it can provide its own in-house technical systems and consequent certainty in the service that it provides.

We are outcomes driven in targeting Safety, Reliability and Operational Certainty in the development of outstanding technology on a ‘Best Value for Money’ basis.