The Tourism Council of Western Australia has raised concerns over the quality of services to some regional destinations after the state government announced several changes to intrastate air routes.
Incumbent Skywest is the preferred airline for Perth-Albany and Perth-Esperance, and will introduce Perth-Bussleton flights, but Skippers Aviation has been named as the preferred airline for the Perth to Mt Magnet and Meekatharra, Perth to Laverton and Leonora, Perth to Wiluna and Leinster and Perth to Carnarvon, Monkey Mia and Kalbarri routes.
Perth-Exmouth and Perth-Geraldton services, previously run exclusively by Skywest, will now also be opened up to competition from a second carrier. Qantas has already announced plans to operate between Perth and Exmouth.
While the Tourism Council has welcomed the changes, it is concerned that remote destinations such as Monkey Mia are not disadvantaged by the new services. Council CEO Graham Moss said there was some concern about the changes from the smaller centres but saw no reason why they could not be addressed. “We have some concerns about the quality of air services into Kalbarri, Monkey Mia and Carnarvon but we’ll wait and see what sort of quality Skippers Aviation are able to offer to ensure that those routes are adequately serviced,” Moss said.
“Their concern is the quality of service and that’s the type of aircraft, the frequency of services and participation in global distribution systems.”
“So if those issues can be addressed adequately then I think it can only be positive for those areas as well.”
The state government’s review of regional services will also see Golden Eagle Airline’s Broome-Fitzroy Crossing-Halls Creek service extended to include Derby.