Jetgo cites lack of corporate support for dropping Sydney-Gladstone

written by australianaviation.com.au | February 3, 2015
Jetgo's first RPT flight flown by an Embraer ERJ 135, lands at Gladstone Airport. (Gladstone Mayor Gail Sellers/Facebook)
Jetgo’s first RPT flight arrives at Gladstone on December 1. (Gladstone Mayor Gail Sellers/Facebook)

Jetgo says a lack of support from corporate clients is behind its decision to stop flying between Sydney and Gladstone less than three months after launching the route on December 1 2014.

The regional carrier confirmed on its Facebook page on Tuesday that its last flights to and from Gladstone would be on Sunday February 8.

Jetgo managing director for airlines Paul Bredereck says passengers on the flights to Gladstone were mainly locals and leisure passengers.

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“Unfortunately, we just couldn’t make any sizeable dent into the corporate market,” Bredereck said on Tuesday.

“We were told that even if we could save them a couple of hundred dollars and save them two hours in transit times they were not interested. They would rather get the status credits with the frequent flyer programs.”

Jetgo, which was flying 36-seat Embraer ERJ 135 jets on the route, was the only operator offering non-stop flights from Sydney to the Queensland port city about 550 kilometres north of Brisbane.

Both Qantas and Virgin Australia serve Gladstone from Sydney via Brisbane.

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While passenger load factors were building and the local council had thrown its support behind the flights, Bredereck said the airline’s modelling showed the time it would take to bring the route to breakeven was “more than we are prepared to invest in it”.

“If we had deeper pockets we would hold out but we are not interested in going broke on it,” Bredereck said.

“At the end of the day a broke airline is no good to anybody.”

Jetgo said those booked for travel after February 9 would receive a full refund.

It is the second time Jetgo has dropped a RPT route. In November 2014, the airline decided against commencing a Sydney-Roma service two weeks from the scheduled first flight due to low booking numbers and the decline of future projects in the Roma district.

“The slowdown at Roma came quicker than anyone had expected,” Bredereck said.

Jetgo’s planned Brisbane-Tamworth route was due to start on March 2. Bredereck said Jetgo had secured a couple of anchor clients to support the route, which was not served by either Qantas or Virgin.

He said there were a number of other routes Jetgo was looking at starting in the period ahead.

“We’ve got a lot of stuff on the dance card,” Bredereck said.

“We are still finding our way and coming to understand the market a bit better.”

Jetgo was primarily a charter and fly-in/fly-out operator prior to gaining its high capacity jet RPT Air Operator’s Certificate in October 2014.

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8 Comments

  • robert beard

    says:

    thanks very much…I booked my my return flight back in December to go too a wedding…well done now ive missed out .what happens to my fair

    • australianaviation.com.au

      says:

      Hi Robert,
      Jetgo says those booked for travel after February 9 will receive a full refund and the airline was currently processing those refunds. The story has been update to reflect this.
      Cheers

  • robert beard

    says:

    can anyone tell me why all these airlines that want to come to Gladstone always last for about two months.i have been here for 40 years and have seen it over and over again.what has Qantas link got over you people.

  • Matt

    says:

    RPT regional jet service will never be profitable. Fancy starting Gladstone route in a holiday period and then winging because only locals and leisure are flying with them…

  • Random

    says:

    They should consider Newcastle-Toowoomba Wellcamp. Bigger population bases on a route currently not serviced and unlikely to attract trunk services.

  • Joy Anger

    says:

    This is such a blow to me because I flew back from Gladstone to Sydney last week after visiting my mother in a nursing home.It took me 9 hours on Virgin going up and only 2 hours to come back.I thought I had found the answer to seeing my mother more often during her sunset years,Now it is almost impossible to get up there and back in between work days on the other carriers because of the delays and mess ups in changing in Brisbane.You will be sorely missed.Thanks for the wonderful service and please thank the hostess for her beautiful service and kindness.Hope she can get another job because she is wonderful.

  • Bob

    says:

    If we would not be so stuck into getting our frequesnt flyer points we would have more companies serving routes like this and not needing to pull out after a short time. These comapies such as Jetgo spent large amounts of money to open a route, yet our egoism and greed for some points we get lets these companies down. We should look in the mirror and see who to blame. We complain about only having two airlines (Australia always had a duopoly) as a choice (Qantas and Virgin as Tiger and Jetstar is part of them) but we do not support newcomers. There is a simple solution to overcome the frequent flyer point issue, look at Interjet from Mexico, the offer money instead of points and customers spend the money where and how they want. Electronic Wallet it is called. Australia, as long as you stick to only two carriers you will always be at the mercy of two companies.

  • Adrian

    says:

    Hey Bob, nothing wrong with being a frequent flyer points junkie, I have had many trips overseas paid for simply because of my travelling with Qantas and accruing points. Australians are always wanting something for nothing, and when it comes to air travel, its no different. Making a stopover is harmless anyway, its really a first world problem when people complain about connectors because it happens all over the world, embrace it, enjoy the experience of seeing another place, doing some airport shopping, some people watching and just experiencing a different way to get somewhere 🙂 Me thinks that the route really wasn’t going to be a star performer anyway-if the majors like QF and VA didn’t have it on the radar, with their route research power and statistics, its no doubt a sitting duck of a route that just isn’t gonna be lucrative to operate.

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