Lion City nod

Broome Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Jakeb Wad­dell

Trial pas­sen­ger flights be­tween Broome and Sin­ga­pore marked an his­toric day for the town last week with hope they will be­come a per­ma­nent link be­tween the Kim­ber­ley and Asia. Broome Mayor Harold Tracey, pic­tured, toasts the mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion in Sin­ga­pore, over­look­ing Ma­rina Bay.

Broome may still be bask­ing in the suc­cess of its first in­ter­na­tional flights in nearly two decades, but work has al­ready gone ahead to in­tro­duce a per­ma­nent ser­vice.

Last Tues­day, in one of the most his­toric days in the town’s his­tory, a Silkair Boe­ing 737-800 touched down in Broome from Sin­ga­pore — the first over­seas ar­rival since 2001.

The mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion marked the start of a re­turn ser­vice trial to test the fea­si­bil­ity of flights be­tween the Lion City and the Kim­ber­ley town. Just days later, the Broome In­ter­na­tional Air­port and Shire of Broome met with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Silkair, the re­gional arm of Sin­ga­pore Air­lines, to dis­cuss the trial’s suc­cess and the pos­si­bil­ity of a fu­ture reg­u­lar ser­vice.

A spokesper­son for Silkair said it was still “early days” but the com­pany would soon as­sess the route’s per­for­mance.

“We are al­ways look­ing for op­por­tu­ni­ties to bring new des­ti­na­tions into our net­work,” they said.

“In time to come, we will re­view the long-term po­ten­tial of routes such as Broome.

“This set of four Sin­ga­pore to Broome char­ter flights was the start of the mar­ket de­vel­op­ment ef­forts to raise aware­ness of Broome.”

Shire pres­i­dent Harold Tracey said he was hope­ful the route would be­come a reg­u­lar ser­vice for the town.

“We are very hope­ful this suc­cess­ful trial will tran­si­tion into a reg­u­lar ser­vice,” he said.

“I con­grat­u­late the team that man­aged to pull this trial to­gether — this level of com­mit­ment to Broome is fan­tas­tic and the Shire are proud to have been a part of it.”

BIA chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul McSweeney said it had taken a sig­nif­i­cant amount of work to get the trial flights, but there was still more to do.

“Once the four flights have fin­ished, work will be­gin to as­sess the per­for­mance of the flights,” he said.

“I am ex­tremely proud to be in­volved with the con­sor­tium that worked on the flights.

“I look for­ward to the day that the flights be­come a reg­u­lar ser­vice.”

It is un­der­stood that 86 pas­sen­gers ar­rived on the first ar­rival last Tues­day and 112 flew out. Satur­day’s in­bound and out­bound flights were nearly at max­i­mum ca­pac­ity.

The air­craft can carry 162 pas­sen­gers, in­clud­ing 12 busi­ness­class seats. The flights re­sulted from a part­ner­ship be­tween the BIA, Tourism WA, Tourism Aus­tralia, Aus­tralia’s North West Tourism and the Shire of Broome, in an ef­fort to ex­pose north­ern WA to the Asian mar­ket.

The fi­nal flight will leave Broome on Satur­day at 4pm.

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