Regional charter operator Pelican Airlines has confirmed plans to launch regular public transport (RPT) flights between Canberra and Newcastle from late April using BAE Jetstream 32 aircraft.
Pelican chief executive Paul Graham says the airline is working with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) on varying its AOC, which only covers charter flights, to include RPT services.
He says the process, including proving flights, hopefully will be concluded by late March with the first service between the nation’s capital and Newcastle scheduled to take off on April 27th.
Graham said Pelican plans to use two 19-seat BAE Jetstream 32 aircraft, which he describes as ideal for the one-hour route, to operate double daily Canberra-Newcastle services from Monday to Friday, as well as a flight on Sunday afternoon.
He expects Canberra-Newcastle services to be well received, given it linked the nation’s capital with RAAF Williamtown in Newcastle: “It is a proven 19-seat route. Our primary target will more than likely be government, business and industry with parliament in Canberra, as well as the association with Newcastle and defence.
“We are all very excited about it.”
While there are currently no direct flights between Canberra and Newcastle, the route was previously flown by Brindabella Airlines, which collapsed in December 2013.
Pelican is expected to receive approval to begin ticket sales by the end of March, Graham saying: “The fares will certainly be very competitive for regional operations and we will have a variety of fares from full flexible to saver-type fares.”
He adds that the company decided in December to begin RPT services.
He adds that Pelican also has applied to Transport NSW to begin services between Sydney and Mudgee, a NSW government regulated route.