The General Manager of Pilbara Airlines, Ed Turner, announced the management team were continuing to make progress in the development of the airline to commence operations in early 2021. Mr Turner said the airline had just obtained its airline designator from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) – P7, and has also been allocated its airline call-sign from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) – PBA. Pilbara Airlines has also reserved 5 Australian aircraft registration numbers for its first aircraft. Mr Turner said the management team were finalising remaining manuals for submission to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to vary the airline’s Air Operator Certificate (AOC) to include Airbus A319, A320, and A321 aircraft and hope to have this finalised by July 2020. Discussions had also commenced with Airbus and a number of aircraft leasing companies for suitable aircraft. Mr Turner said that although the aviation industry was in turmoil due to the coronavirus, this contagion would not affect the airline’s timeline to commence operations in early 2021. Pilbara Airlines had also entered into discussions with the Karratha City Council to obtain land at the Karratha Airport for an international cargo facility, as well as the airline’s headquarters, an aviation maintenance facility and an aviation flying academy.