City, please explain
I find it interesting and misleading that the City of Busselton is now using yet another executive to fight their battle with the State Government over the building of the Busselton Airport terminal.
In my view, the airlines have done the maths, and the numbers don’t stack up, unless an exorbitant subsidy is needed.
Building an airport terminal will never guarantee an airline flying to Busselton.
We have been told that if an airline were to operate to Busselton, it will probably be from Melbourne, three to four times a week and “back of the clock” (late-night departure Melbourne, late-night arrival/departure Busselton and early-morning arrival back into Melbourne).
Busselton is competing with up to 17 direct daily services to Perth from Melbourne and unless the fare is very competitive with Perth and a high passenger load factor is achieved in both directions, it will not compete.
It used to be said in airline talk that if a destination was within three hours drive from a capital city, an airline service would not be viable. Busselton is 21⁄ hours from Perth and will reduce further with the Bunbury bypass.
The Business Council of Australia chief executive says Indonesia is another big market that we are missing out on because of their many wealthy residents and growing middle-class.
With Bali being the main Indonesian destination for travellers from Perth, I have yet to see the wealthy middle class from Bali travelling to Busselton. The middle class referred to is actually in Jakarta. At the moment, there are nine direct services between Perth and Bali.
We’re not told if any international airlines have elected to fly to Busselton, but if they have I doubt whether it would be a daily service and again, it will be competing with numerous daily flights from Perth to Singapore, Bali, Jakarta, Hong Kong, China etc.
Significant money has probably been spent on consultants telling the City what they want to hear.
It would seem that no domestic or international airline has committed to come and I hope the City can explain why not and stop blaming the Government and others for this project not delivering as they have told us it would.