Flight deal boost for Kim­ber­ley

The West Australian - - NEWS - Ge­of­frey Thomas

Qan­tas has slashed the cost of air­fares be­tween Perth and Broome as part of a deal with the State Gov­ern­ment aimed at lur­ing West Aus­tralians away from cheap Bali hol­i­days.

Un­der the deal, Qan­tas will use a Net­work Avi­a­tion-op­er­ated 180seat Air­bus A320, which runs flyin, fly-out ser­vices to mine sites but is idle from Fri­day to Sun­day.

It will op­er­ate daily flights to Broome with a $179 one-way fare in the off-sea­son, and $199 in peak sea­son.

While the State Gov­ern­ment would not pro­vide de­tails of the deal, it is con­tribut­ing to the low fares through Tourism WA sup­port.

The fare deal is in re­sponse to gov­ern­ment pres­sure for in­dus­try part­ners to of­fer com­pet­i­tive air­fares on in­trastate routes to counter the flood of WA hol­i­day­mak­ers to Bali.

More than 400,000 WA res­i­dents fly to Bali each year.

Over the 12-month trial, 29,400 dis­counted seats will be avail­able.

The ini­tia­tive will of­fer two ranges of air­fare dis­counts, when booked ei­ther 60 days or 45 days be­fore travel.

Tourism Min­is­ter Paul Pa­palia told The West Aus­tralian “this is the eas­ily the big­gest thing done for Broome by any State gov­ern­ment.”

“The aim of this ini­tia­tive is to pro­vide af­ford­able fares through­out the year to help stim­u­late leisure travel to Broome and the Kim­ber­ley,” he said.

“We hope it will en­cour­age peo­ple to es­cape to Broome for a week­end get­away, or to plan a longer one to two-week stay and it is a higher qual­ity of­fer­ing than Bali.”

Mr Pa­palia said that he wanted to see Broome busi­nesses re­spond and work with Qan­tas to of­fer in­no­va­tive pack­ages.

“Qan­tas has re­sponded incredibly well to the cost of travel to make this hap­pen and I would en­cour­age other air­lines to do the same,” he said.

Premier Mark McGowan said “pro­vid­ing more af­ford­able flights for res­i­dents and tourists is a key part of our two-year ac­tion plan, to make sure peo­ple from Perth, in­ter­state and over­seas have the op­por­tu­nity to ac­cess all of what our great State has to of­fer”.

“This is an op­por­tu­nity that makes good use of air­craft that would oth­er­wise be on the ground over the week­end,” Qan­tas group ex­ec­u­tive Andrew Parker said.

“It will help us de­liver great value for trav­ellers, stim­u­lat­ing tourism and driv­ing new busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties for Broome and the Kim­ber­ley re­gion.”

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