Flight talks still in the air

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

New in­ter­na­tional and in­ter­state routes from Kar­ratha are on the cards de­spite ne­go­ti­a­tions for the Sin­ga­pore route hit­ting tur­bu­lence. A SilkAir spokesman told the

Pil­bara News last week the car­rier had no plans to op­er­ate flights be­tween Sin­ga­pore and Kar­ratha.

SilkAir was the only car­rier to re­spond to the re­quest for ten­der for sched­uled char­tered flights, although the City stated it has been hold­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions with sev­eral air­lines.

It does not spell the end for the pro­posed route, how­ever, with the City of Kar­ratha now pur­su­ing other op­tions for the ratepayer­funded trial be­hind closed doors.

When asked by the News, a City spokes­woman would not say which car­rier the lo­cal author­ity was now in dis­cus­sions with for the ratepayer-funded trial.

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said the City re­mained com­mit­ted to es­tab­lish­ing more flight routes to and from Kar­ratha Air­port, in­clud­ing an east coast route.

“De­vel­op­ing new air routes has its com­plex­i­ties and as well as ne­go­ti­a­tions with car­ri­ers, there are in­ter­na­tional, Border­force and CASA re­quire­ments we need to ar­range,” he said.

“We are hope­ful, how­ever, that our pre­ferred air­line will be able to be­gin op­er­at­ing flights to and from Sin­ga­pore by mid-2018 and an in­ter­state ser­vice to the east coast

should be im­ple­mented even sooner than that.

“Coun­cil is very ex­cited about the progress made in car­rier ne­go­ti­a­tions and looks for­ward to pro­vid­ing our com­mu­nity with ex­panded pas­sen­ger ser­vice routes from Kar­ratha Air­port.”

Mr Long said ne­go­ti­a­tions for ex­panded ser­vices had been com­plex.

Coun­cil­lors Marg Bertling, Garry Bai­ley and Fiona WhiteHar­tig have raised ob­jec­tions to the trial at meet­ings over the course of the year, claim­ing it would not be a vi­able in­vest­ment for the City in the cur­rent eco­nomic cli­mate.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

The City is in ne­go­ti­a­tions for over long flight routes to and from Kar­ratha Air­port.

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