Pelican Airlines will commence regular public transport flights (RPT) between Newcastle and Canberra on June 1 after securing all the necessary approvals from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).
The Newcastle-based Pelican will offer a twice daily service on weekdays, as well as one flight on Sunday, with 19-seat BAE Jetstream 32 aircraft, restoring direct service between the two cities for the first time since the collapse of Brindabella Airlines in December 2013.
Separately, the airline also announced on Tuesday it would start Sydney-Newcastle flights on June 11 with two flights s day on weekdays and one flight on Sunday. Regional Express (Rex) is currently the only airline offering RPT flights on the route.
And Pelican is also launching 11 flights a week on the Sydney-Mudgee route – a NSW government regulated route – from June 11, restoring air links on the city pair for the first time in 16 months.
Pelican has been working with CASA since February to vary its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) to include RPT services, having been primarily a charter operator.
“The necessary approvals to start scheduled flights for the airline had been long awaited and he was thrilled that the first flight was now less than one week away,” Pelican chief executive Paul Graham said in a statement.
Graham said the airline was looking forward to restoring air services between Canberra and Newcastle, which links the nation’s capital with RAAF Williamtown and is likely to target the government, business and defence sectors.
“This service is in high demand especially with the RAAF base located at Williamtown, Newcastle, and also with public servants commuting and working in Canberra,” Graham said.
“The service has a proven history and we are confident that it will be well supported and prosper.”
Newcastle Airport manager for aviation business development David Nye said Pelican’s new service would help fill a significant gap in the market that arose following the collapse of Brindabella.
“The business community has been very vocal in their desire to see these services brought back and I’m pleased we’ve been able to do so,” Nye said in a statement.