Goldfields flight costs a drag for tourism potential
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.”