Wel­come mat for Lion City

Broome Advertiser - - Front Page - Jakeb Wad­dell

Broome pre­pares for its first in­ter­na­tional flight in nearly two decades. Pic­tured are Broome In­ter­na­tional Air­port com­mer­cial man­ager Kim­ber­ley Krenz and chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul McSweeney in front of the new wel­come sig­nage at the ar­rival ter­mi­nal.

Broome has been busy rolling out the wel­come mat as the tourist town gears up for its first in­ter­na­tional flight in nearly two decades.

In just 10 weeks, four re­turn Sin­ga­pore to Broome flights will be­gin, sig­nalling the re­turn of over­seas ser­vices, which last op­er­ated from the town in 2001.

Four Boe­ing 737s, which can carry 150 econ­omy and 12 busi­ness-class pas­sen­gers, will be used by Silkair, the re­gional arm of Sin­ga­pore Air­lines, on May 22, May 26, May 29 and June 2.

Broome In­ter­na­tional Air­port has poured re­sources into in­fra­struc­ture up­grades in prepa­ra­tion, in­clud­ing a new il­lu­mi­nated “wel­come to Broome” sign on dis­play to visi­tors on ar­rival.

New toi­lets are be­ing built for the in­ter­na­tional de­par­tures lounge and con­struc­tion work is planned in com­ing weeks to al­low Border Force to process ar­riv­ing and de­part­ing pas­sen­gers ef­fi­ciently.

BIA chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul McSweeney said the up­grades en­abled the timely pro­cess­ing of over­seas pas­sen­gers and en­sured their time spent at the air­port was com­fort­able.

He said the air­port was plan­ning fur­ther up­grades, in­clud­ing a new in­ter­na­tional ar­rivals ter­mi­nal, should the over­seas ser­vice be­come reg­u­lar.

“A di­rect flight be­tween Sin­ga­pore and Broome opens the town up to the rest of the world due to Sin­ga­pore be­ing a ma­jor avi­a­tion hub,” he said.

“It al­lows in­ter­na­tional visi­tors to be­gin their Aus­tralian ad­ven­ture in Broome and opens up a new op­por­tu­nity for Broome busi­ness op­er­a­tors to show­case their prod­ucts or ser­vices to the Sin­ga­porean mar­ket.”

Broome Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try of­fi­cer Elaine Jol­liffe en­cour­aged the busi­ness com­mu­nity to plan ahead to prove the busi­ness case for a reg­u­lar in­ter­na­tional ser­vice.

“We are hop­ing to see re­tail and tourism busi­nesses pre­pare and par­tic­i­pate in the suc­cess of th­ese trial flights,” she said.

North West Tourism chief ex­ec­u­tive Glen Chid­low said the flights to Broome were be­ing pro­moted through agents in Sin­ga­pore.

“There is an ex­tra­or­di­nary tourism growth out of the Asian re­gion and th­ese flights are an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity for Broome and the Kim­ber­ley to tap into this mar­ket,” he said.

Mr Chid­low said seats to Sin­ga­pore were still avail­able and en­cour­aged res­i­dents to visit the Broome Travel Cen­tre to book flights.

Book­ings are not avail­able on the SilkAir web­site be­cause of the na­ture of the trial flights.

The trial was an­nounced in Novem­ber and re­sulted from a part­ner­ship be­tween BIA, ANWT, SilkAir and the Shire of Broome.

Pic­ture: Jakeb Wad­dell

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