Cobham Aviation Services Australia (formerly National Jet Systems), is a scheduled and charter airline with its Headquarters based in Adelaide, Australia. It provides aviation services including wet leasing, scheduled airline operations, and charter services across Australia. Cobham provides all crew and engineering support and services for QantasLink's Jet operations in Australia, and operates freight services for Australian air Express, along with charter services across its vast regional network for bluechip clients such as Santos, BHP Billiton and Chevron; resource companies that require Fly In/Fly Out (FIFO) services across remote Australia. Cobham Headquarters is based in Adelaide International Airport, with hubs at Cairns International Airport, Darwin International Airport and Perth Airport. It is a major contractor for QantasLink. Cobham also owns and operates a fleet of Dash 8 aircraft, modified to provide 24/7 civil maritine surveillance for the Australian Customs Service.
Cobham has developed "turnkey" transportation systems, including airport management and reservations services, for major Australian infrastructure projects such as Santos's Cooper Basin gas fields at Moomba and Ballera in the heart of Australia, Chevron's Barrow Island operations into a Class "A" nature reserve with strict quarantine requirements, along with operations for Ok-Tedi gold and copper mine in Papua New Guinea.. Cobham is the first operator to operate the RJ100 aircraft in Australia, and is the first operator in Australia to introduce gravel jet operations into remote unpaved runways in Australia in 2012.
National Jet Systems (NJS) was established in 1989 and started operations on 1 July 1990. It soon commenced scheduled operations on behalf of Australian Airlines, mainly to tourist destinations in northern Australia, operating a fleet of BAe 146 aircraft under the Airlink brand. After Australian Airlines was taken over by Qantas it continued these operations, and in 2005 commenced operating Boeing 717 aircraft, the operation being rebranded as QantasLink at the same time. The services on behalf of QantasLink are contracted until 2018. An additional base, located in Brisbane, was opened in early 2012.
NJS is owned by Cobham plc. Cobham Aviation Services in Australia operates different business units. Regional Services, also known as National Jet Express, or JetEx, conducts scheduled closed charter flights on its "regional network" and freight services on behalf of Australian air Express (AaE). JetEx operates three BAe 146 freighters on night freight services to and from curfew-restricted Sydney Airport, along with Bae146 and RJ100 aircraft in Perth and Adelaide on scheduled closed charter flights for bluechip minings clients. Cobham's Airline Services business unit operates under the call-sign "QJet", for QantasLink Jet operations across Australia, flying over 1.5 million passengers annually. These flights are all crewed and maintained by Cobham, on behalf of QantasLink. Surveillance Australia, or Special Missions business unit operates a civilian aerial surveillance program on behalf of the Border Protection Command. In early 2009, National Jet rebranded its name to Cobham (known as Cobham Aviation Services Australia or CAvSA) inline with a global Cobham rebranding initiative by its parent company Cobham plc. The company's legal identities as National Jet Express and National Jet Systems still remain however the company trades and operate under the name Cobham Aviation Services.
A QantasLink-branded Cobham Boeing 717 at Canberra Airport, November 2013
Cobham's operations can be broken into four separate branches; it flies scheduled services on its own behalf, Scheduled operations on behalf of QantasLink and AaE. It also has an extensive closed charter operation in support of the mining industry.