Dublin-based aviation investor Avia Solutions buys Australian airline

Deal expands Irish business in Asia-Pacific region

Irish aviation investor Avia Solutions has bought Australian carrier Skytrans to cash in on the country’s lucrative domestic air travel market. Avia, which moved its headquarters to Dublin from Lithuania last year, provides aircraft crews, maintenance and insurance to airlines, as well as operating several carriers itself. It has businesses in 68 countries.

The group confirmed on Monday that it had bought Skytrans, a regional carrier based in Queensland, Australia, which owns 13 turboprop aircraft and flies routes centred around Cairns and Brisbane.

Skytrans specialises in public transport and charters, according to Avia, which says the deal will pave the way for both passenger and cargo flights. The move will allow Avia access Australia’s “lucrative domestic aviation market”, which the Irish company notes is due to overtake pre-Covid levels of traffic this year.

Jonas Janukenas, Avia Solutions chief executive, said on Monday that the acquisition was part of a broader strategy to expand in the Asia-Pacific region to balance the impact of seasonal flying in Europe. “By the end of the year we aim to establish or acquire seven additional airlines, with countries like Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia firmly on our radar.”


Gytis Gumuliauskas, Skytrans managing director, explained that the carrier would continue current operations but would aim to expand into aircraft, crew and maintenance leasing. “Passenger operations will be our main area of focus, with cargo being an area we’re willing to explore and develop in 2024 and beyond.”

He suggested that the group could expand Skytrans’ fleet with Airbus aircraft for both passenger and cargo operations.

The deal means that Avia Solutions’ subsidiaries now control 12 airline operator certificates, the licences needed to run airlines. It owns airlines Smartlynx, Avion Express, Airexplore and others, as well as providing maintenance, insurance and pilot training.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas