Chartered Flights for FIFO: 4 Aircraft Perfect for Your FIFO Operation

14 Nov, 2023 | News

Navigating FIFO Operations with the Right Charter Aircraft

The unique demands of Fly-In Fly-Out (FIFO) operations in Australia require meticulous planning, especially when it comes to the aerial transportation of personnel. The vast distances and remote locations characteristic of the Australian resources sector make choosing the right aircraft for charter flights not just a matter of convenience, but a critical business decision.

To help your organisation make the right decisions about the ideal aircraft for your chartered flights, we’ll scrutinise four distinct aircraft that have become integral to the FIFO industry. Each one serves a specific niche – from the rugged and reliable Fairchild Metroliner, perfectly sized for compact teams and their gear, to the capacious Fokker F100, ready to accommodate larger workforces with ease. Alongside these, we’ll assess the rapid Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 and the sleek Embraer E190, both of which have redefined efficiency and comfort in the FIFO realm.

Adagold Aviation is here to help you navigate the complexities of charter aircraft selection, ensuring that your teams are transported in the utmost safety, comfort, and timeliness that only charter flights can offer. Our analysis will give you a rundown of the strengths and limitations of each of these aircraft within the FIFO-application framework, considering options of turboprop, private jet hire and charter airline services. We aim to arm you with the knowledge to choose a charter plane that not only meets your logistical needs but also adheres to your budgetary constraints regarding private plane costs.

The Fairchild Metroliner – The Resilient All-Rounder for FIFO and Regional Air Travel


The Fairchild Metroliner has cemented its role as a dependable workhorse in the aviation sector, particularly within FIFO operations across Australia’s expansive terrain. Its resilience and reliability are matched by its versatility, making it a favoured choice not only for FIFO but also for regional air travel and other specialised aviation services.

FIFO Operations

Cost-Effectiveness: The Metroliner’s operational costs are a significant advantage for small to mid-sized groups , offering an economical option for private plane hire.

Reliable Workhorse: Known for its robust construction, the Metroliner boasts a strong track record of reliability, crucial for the rigorous demands of FIFO schedules.

Specifications for FIFO: With a range of 1100 km and a cruising speed of 473 km/h, the Metroliner is adept at covering the typical distances required for FIFO operations without unnecessary delays.

Baggage Solutions: The aircraft’s baggage capacity is tailored to FIFO needs, accommodating a small soft check-in bag and a carry-on for each of the 19 passengers, ensuring that both personal and work-related essentials travel with the workforce.

Beyond FIFO

Operational Flexibility: The Metroliner’s adaptability makes it a suitable candidate for other aviation roles, including air freight, air ambulance services, and charter flights for regional travel.

Remote Access: Its capability to land on regional runways opens up access to remote areas, often unreachable by larger aircraft, making it an invaluable asset for communities and operations located off the beaten path.

Passenger Comfort: Despite its modest size, the Metroliner provides a pressurised and air-conditioned cabin, ensuring passenger comfort during flights.

Comparative Analysis

Seating Capacity: When compared to larger aircraft like the Dash 8 Q400 or the Fokker F100, the Metroliner’s 19-seat configuration may seem limited, but it is ample for smaller groups and ensures a more intimate and group-focused travel experience.

In-Flight Amenities: The absence of in-flight lavatories and galleys can be a drawback for longer flights, where such amenities contribute to overall passenger comfort.

Cost Effectiveness: For smaller charter flights, the Metroliner is competitive, and indicative rates for private plane hire can be found on our Metroliner page.

The Fairchild Metroliner’s blend of efficiency, reliability, and versatility makes it a standout choice for FIFO operations and beyond. Its ability to meet the specific logistical and budgetary requirements of private jet hire, while also offering the flexibility to serve various other aviation needs, establishes the Metroliner as a practical and reliable aircraft in the charter market.

The Dash 8 Q400 – Speed and Capacity for FIFO Excellence

The Dash 8 Q400 represents a leap in regional air travel, offering a blend of speed and capacity that is particularly well-suited to FIFO operations in Australia. As the modern iteration of the well-established Dash 8, this aircraft brings efficiency and comfort to the forefront of regional and FIFO travel.

FIFO Operations

High-Speed Travel: With a cruising speed of 648 km/h, the Dash 8 Q400 significantly reduces travel time between destinations, which is a substantial benefit for FIFO operations where schedule adherence is paramount.

Increased Capacity: Seating up to 90 passengers, this aircraft can transport larger groups of workers, making it ideal for companies with extensive personnel needs.

Range for Remote Sites: A range of 2,400 km ensures that even the most isolated sites are accessible, providing a vital link for resource sectors spread across the vast Australian landscape.

Baggage Allowance: The generous baggage capabilities allow each passenger to bring a soft check-in bag and a carry-on, accommodating the typical luggage requirements for FIFO workers.

Beyond FIFO

Versatility in Services: The Dash 8 Q400 is not only a staple for FIFO but also serves as a reliable option for regional airlines, offering passenger services across shorter domestic routes.

Comfort Features: Pressurised and air-conditioned cabins, along with onboard lavatories and galleys, ensure passenger comfort even on longer flights within its operational range.

Operational Efficiency: Its ability to operate efficiently on shorter runways and in diverse weather conditions makes it a versatile choice for various types of air travel.

Comparative Analysis

Speed Advantage: Compared to the Fairchild Metroliner, the Dash 8 Q400 offers a significant speed advantage, which can be a deciding factor for time-sensitive operations.

Enhanced Amenities: The presence of lavatories and a galley provides a level of comfort that smaller aircraft cannot match, which can be crucial for the well-being of passengers on longer flights.

Cost Effectiveness: Given it’s size, the Dash 8’s rates for private plane hire are highly competitive, and can be found on our Dash 8 page.

The Dash 8 Q400 emerges as a formidable option for FIFO operations, particularly for larger groups that require swift and comfortable transport. Its capabilities make it a valuable asset in the charter aircraft market, ensuring that FIFO workers arrive at their destinations on time and ready for the tasks ahead.

The Fokker F100 – A Twin Jet Workhorse for FIFO Operations

The Fokker F100, a twin jet jet airliner, is a robust choice for FIFO operations, offering a blend of comfort and utility. Its specifications are tailored to meet the demands of transporting FIFO workforces across Australia’s expansive terrain.

Aircraft Specifications

Aircraft Type: The Fokker F100 is classified as a twin jet airliner, designed for efficiency and reliability in regional air travel.

Flight Crew: Operations are managed by a captain and a first officer, with the support of up to four flight attendants, ensuring a high level of service and safety.

Range: With a range of 2,500 kilometres, the Fokker F100 can comfortably reach remote FIFO sites without limited need for refuelling stops.

Seating: The aircraft can seat up to 100 passengers, making it an excellent option for moving large groups of FIFO workers in a single journey.

Baggage Capabilities: Each passenger can bring up to 15 kgs of baggage, accommodating the typical load of personal and work-related items for FIFO workers.

Cabin Features: Passengers can enjoy a pressurised, air-conditioned stand-up cabin, overhead bins for carry-on items, wardrobe space for additional storage, two lavatories for convenience, and a hot and cold galley for in-flight service.

FIFO Suitability

Capacity for Workforces: The Fokker F100’s 100-passenger capacity is ideal for FIFO operations, allowing for efficient transportation of workers to and from job sites.

Range and Efficiency: Its 2,500-kilometre range ensures that even distant sites are within reach, providing a direct and uninterrupted flight path.

Comfort and Amenities: The stand-up cabin and additional amenities like lavatories and galleys make the Fokker F100 a comfortable option for the often long and tiring journeys associated with FIFO work.

Comparative Analysis

Increased Crew and Service: The inclusion of up to four flight attendants on the Fokker F100 offers a level of in-flight service that exceeds that of smaller aircraft like the Fairchild Metroliner and Dash 8 Q400.

Enhanced Passenger Experience: With its spacious cabin and additional amenities, the Fokker F100 provides a more comfortable and accommodating environment compared to smaller, less equipped aircraft.

For indicative rates for chartered flights, along with some examples of other aircraft & routes, visit our Private Jet Cost page and the Fokker 100 private jet hire page.

In conclusion, the Fokker F100’s combination of range, capacity, and onboard amenities make it a highly suitable aircraft for FIFO operations, ensuring that workers are transported in comfort and with efficiency, ready to commence their on-site duties upon arrival.

The Embraer 190 – Versatile and Comfortable for Medium-Range FIFO Operations

The Embraer 190 emerges as a versatile and comfortable aircraft for medium-range FIFO operations. Its design and capabilities make it well-suited for transporting workers to and from regional sites with efficiency and ease.

Aircraft Specifications

Aircraft Type: As a medium-range twin jet airliner, the Embraer 190 is engineered for optimal performance over distances common in FIFO operations.

Crew Configuration: The aircraft is typically operated by two pilots, supported by up to four cabin crew members, ensuring a smooth and safe flight experience.

Range: With a range of 4,537 kilometres, the Embraer 190 can easily cover the vast distances between cities and remote work sites without stopping for fuel.

Seating Capacity: It can accommodate up to 108 passengers, offering a comfortable space for workers and ensuring that medium-sized groups can be transported in one flight.

Baggage Allowance: Typically each passenger can bring up to 20 kgs of baggage, which is particularly beneficial for FIFO workers who often need to transport both personal items and work equipment.

Cabin Amenities: The aircraft features an airconditioned and pressurised stand-up cabin, lavatories, and a hot and cold galley, all of which contribute to a more enjoyable and comfortable flight.

FIFO Suitability

Group Transport: The seating capacity is ideal for medium-sized FIFO groups, allowing for efficient scheduling and fewer flights.

Extended Range: The Embraer 190’s impressive range makes it a strong candidate for reaching distant FIFO destinations without the need for additional stops.

Enhanced Comfort: The generous baggage allowance and cabin amenities cater to the comfort and needs of FIFO workers, ensuring they arrive at their destination rested and ready for their work stint.

Comparative Analysis

Greater Range: Compared to the Fairchild Metroliner, Dash 8 Q400, and even the Fokker F100, the Embraer 190 offers a longer range, reducing the need for refuelling stops and enabling direct flights to more distant sites.

Increased Comfort: The stand-up cabin and in-flight amenities provide a level of comfort that supports the well-being of passengers, making it a preferred option for longer journeys.

For indicative rates, along with some examples of other aircraft & routes, visit our Private Jet Cost page and the Embraer 190 private jet hire page.

The Embraer 190’s combination of range capability, passenger capacity, and onboard comfort features make it an excellent choice for FIFO operations. It stands out for its ability to deliver a pleasant travel experience while meeting the logistical requirements of transporting FIFO workforces efficiently.

Comparative Analysis: Evaluating Aircraft for FIFO Operations

When selecting the ideal aircraft for FIFO operations, several factors come into play, including range, capacity, comfort, and baggage allowance. Here’s how the four aircraft stack up against each other:

Fairchild Metroliner vs. Dash 8 Q400 vs. Fokker F100 vs. Embraer 190

Range: The Embraer 190 leads with a range of 4,537 kilometres, making it suitable for longer direct flights to remote sites. The Fokker F100 follows with a range of 2,500 kilometres, while the Dash 8 Q400 and Fairchild Metroliner offer shorter ranges suitable for regional hops.

Seating Capacity: The Embraer 190 and Fokker F100 are close competitors, seating up to 108 and 100 passengers, respectively, ideal for larger groups. The Dash 8 Q400 seats up to 90, and the Fairchild Metroliner accommodates 19, making it best for smaller teams.

Baggage Allowance: The Embraer 190 offers the most generous baggage policy, allowing 20 kgs per passenger, which is significant for FIFO workers carrying tools and personal items. The Fokker F100 allows 15kgs, while the Dash 8 Q400 and Fairchild Metroliner typically offer less, necessitating more efficient packing.

Cabin Amenities: The Embraer 190 and Fokker F100 provide a higher level of comfort with features like stand-up cabins, lavatories, and galleys. The Dash 8 Q400 offers similar amenities but in a smaller package, while the Metroliner is more utilitarian with basic comforts.

Operational Efficiency: The Fairchild Metroliner is known for its durability and is often used for shorter, frequent trips. The Dash 8 Q400 is recognized for its speed and efficiency on regional routes. The Fokker F100 combines capacity with range for versatile operations. The Embraer 190 offers the best of both worlds with its range and amenities, making it suitable for longer, more comfortable journeys.

In conclusion, should you require the capacity of around 100 seats, the Embraer 190 is a standout for FIFO operations that require long-range capability and high passenger comfort. The Fokker F100 is a close second, especially for slightly shorter routes and large crews. The Dash 8 Q400 shines for its speed and efficiency in regional transport, while the Fairchild Metroliner is the go-to for smaller groups needing to move quickly and cost-effectively. The choice between these aircraft will obviously depend on the specific needs of the FIFO operation, including the size of the workforce, the distance to the site, and the level of comfort desired during travel.

What’s The Optimal Aircraft for Your Own FIFO Operation?

Choosing the right aircraft for your FIFO operation is crucial to the success of your logistics, the well-being of your workforce, and the efficiency of your operations. Each of the four aircraft we’ve discussed offers unique benefits, from the Fairchild Metroliner’s rugged reliability to the Embraer 190’s long-range comfort. The Dash 8 Q400’s speed makes it ideal for regional routes, while the Fokker F100’s balance of capacity and range offers versatile solutions for various FIFO needs.

When it comes to selecting an aircraft for your FIFO needs, it’s not just about the aircraft; it’s also about the charter company you partner with. Adagold Aviation stands out as a premier choice for your FIFO charter needs in Australia. With 3 decades of experience, a commitment to safety, a high level of due diligence, and a deep understanding of the FIFO industry, Adagold Aviation offers tailored solutions that align with your operational requirements.

Why Choose Adagold Aviation for Your FIFO Charter Needs

Expertise: Adagold Aviation has a proven track record of providing exceptional air charter services, understanding the intricacies of FIFO operations.

Diversity: With access to a diverse range of charter flights, including the Fairchild Metroliner, Dash 8 Q400, Fokker F100, and Embraer 190, Adagold can match the perfect aircraft to your specific needs.

Customised Solutions: Adagold’s team works closely with you to understand your operation’s unique demands, offering customised and scalable charter solutions to plug into your varying project manpower requirements that ensure efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Safety and Reliability: Adherence to the highest safety standards means you can trust that your workforce is in good hands, with reliable service that minimises downtime and maximises productivity.

Customer Service: Adagold’s customer service is second to none, with 24/7 support to handle any unforeseen changes or challenges that may arise during your FIFO operations.

The success of your FIFO operation hinges on the reliability and efficiency of your air transport. By choosing Adagold Aviation, you’re not just hiring a charter aircraft; you’re securing a partner dedicated to the smooth operation and success of your aviation logistics with a proven track record spanning 3 decades. Contact Adagold Aviation today to discuss how we can support your operation with the right aircraft and unmatched service.

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Our Charter Experts Are Here To Help.