Gold­fields flight costs a drag for tourism po­ten­tial

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS - Leti­cia Laing

A lead­ing Gold­fields tourism fig­ure con­cedes the cost of flights to Kal­go­or­lie-Boul­der could be curb­ing the re­gion’s po­ten­tial but says it is not a new prob­lem.

Gold­fields Tourism Net­work As­so­ci­a­tion chair­woman Mandy Reidy said the is­sue had been dis­cussed many times with the air­lines.

“So far there has been no ex­cuse from the air­lines to me that jus­ti­fies why it costs so much to fly from here,” she said.

“We have a high con­tin­gency of self-drive tourists which in­cludes grey no­mads, but the price of flights does limit our tourism po­ten­tial.”

“At this stage we are try­ing to put to­gether pack­ages to get peo­ple to the Gold­fields and then self-drive.”

A re­port from the Pil­bara Re­gional Coun­cil this week listed re­turn flights from Kal- goor­lie-Boul­der to Perth as the most ex­pen­sive per kilo­me­tre in WA, with an av­er­age Qan­tas re­turn fare cost­ing $606, or 55 cents per kilo­me­tre

The fig­ure was al­most more than three times the cost to travel from Perth to Mel­bourne, at 16 cents/km, while a re­turn Perth to Lon­don flight cost 7 cents/km.

A Qan­tas spokes­woman said the fig­ure showed a lack of un­der­stand­ing of how the avi­a­tion in­dus­try op­er­ated.

“A key fac­tor of air­line eco­nom­ics is scale, mean­ing it is cheaper per kilo­me­tre for air­lines to fly longer dis­tances with larger air­craft com­pared to smaller air­craft on shorter routes,” she said. “Larger planes are more eco­nom­i­cal to op­er­ate and they can ob­vi­ously seat more peo­ple.”

“It is worth not­ing we are reg­u­larly on sale in re­gional WA and we are cur­rently of­fer­ing $150 one way fare from Kal­go­or­lie to Perth.”

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