Inter-regional flights take off from today, improving connectivity in the north
The first Aviair flights for the inter-regional air route connecting the Pilbara to the Kimberley have commenced today. The new flights are financially supported by the City of Karratha, the Shire of East Pilbara and Aviair.
Peter Ryan, Aviation Director Department of Transport(DoT) said the new flights will provide improved connections between the major towns in the Pilbara and Kimberley.
“It is great to see such a collaborative and positive approach taken by the City of Karratha, the Shire of East Pilbara, Aviair and regional airports, to get these new flights up and running,” Mr Ryan said.
DoT has been working with the parties involved, granting Aviair a monopoly licence to operate the air service.
The new Regular Public Transport (RPT) air service will include flights from Karratha to Port Hedland, Newman and Broome, and Newman to Port Hedland. Additionally, it is expected that services between Karratha and Paraburdoo will be in place shortly, with support of Rio Tinto.
DoT assisted the City of Karratha and Shire of East Pilbara in developing the tender for the route, as well as KPIs to help gauge demand, traveller profile and air service provider performance and will continue to provide support and technical advice on the new air route.
This is another example of action being taken as part of the recommendations from the Parliamentary Inquiry into Regional Airfares. Recommendation nine requests DoT engage with industry and local communities to examine the market opportunities for additional inter-regional routes within Western Australia.
“Having more connecting flights in the regions was a popular idea from the regional workshops held on the nine unregulated air routes, and this is a positive step to improving inter-regional connections in the State’s north,” Mr Ryan said.
Further opportunities for additional intra and inter-regional connections are continuing to be examined, as part of the State Aviation Strategy.
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