Flight plan

SilkAir in­ter­est in Kar­ratha ser­vice

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr and Glenn Cord­ing­ley

A sub­sidiary of Sin­ga­pore Air­lines is un­der­stood to have shown in­ter­est in the City of Kar­ratha’s pro­posed weekly Kar­ratha to Sin­ga­pore flight.

No bids were re­ceived dur­ing the in­ter­na­tional char­ter ten­der pe­riod but one car­rier sub­mit­ted a late bid that fell within the City’s ex­pec­ta­tions.

A SilkAir spokesman con­firmed to the Pil­bara News that the com­pany had re­sponded to the re­quest for ten­der for sched­uled char­tered flights raised by the City.

He said they were un­able to com­ment fur­ther be­cause the process was con­tin­u­ing.

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said it would take some ne­go­ti­a­tion to put a pack­age to­gether for the coun­cil to vote on.

“At­tract­ing a new in­ter­na­tional flight route is a big un­der­tak­ing and it is ex­cel­lent to see that we have in­ter­est from a re­spected in­ter­na­tional car­rier,” he said.

“We need to make sure that we are get­ting a good deal for these flights, so we will ne­go­ti­ate with the in­ter­ested air­line to see if we can make the ser­vice vi­able.

“Be­fore the ser­vice can hap­pen we need to have is­sues like ticket pric­ing, sched­ule and mar­ket­ing and sales re­spon­si­bil­i­ties worked out with the prospec­tive car­rier, so there is still some way to go in this process.”

Coun­cil­lors Marg Bertling and Garry Bai­ley voted against the mo­tion at last Mon­day’s coun­cil meet­ing.

Cr Bertling said she would like to see in­ter­na­tional flights from Kar­ratha but it would not be vi­able in the cur­rent eco­nomic cli­mate.

SilkAir has shown in­ter­est in the North West this year. The Shire of Broome will con­trib­ute up to $96,720 to­wards two re­turn legs not in­cluded in Sin­ga­pore to Broome travel pack­ages with SilkAir.

The to­tal de­pends on the num­ber of tick­ets sold and would fall to zero if lo­cal pas­sen­gers filled the flights out of Broome and Sin­ga­pore.

The in­tent is to trial three to four re­turn flights this year to de­ter­mine passenger de­mand and vi­a­bil­ity of reg­u­lar ser­vices be­tween the two lo­ca­tions into the fu­ture.

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