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Fly Corporate set to expand RPT network

written by australianaviation.com.au | July 12, 2016
An image of a Fly Corporate Saab 340B (Fly Corporate)
An image of a Fly Corporate Saab 340B (Fly Corporate)

Fly Corporate is expanding its regular public transport operations (RPT) with new service from Brisbane to Armidale, Narrabri and Moree set to launch in August and September.

Canberra-based charter operator Corporate Air, which has been in operation since 1972, moved into the RPT market in April, establishing Fly Corporate and launching Brisbane-Coffs Harbour as its inaugural route.

Fly Corporate has a fleet of four Saab 340Bs and two 19-seat Metro 23 turboprops for its RPT services.

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The company said in a statement in early July it had received Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) approval to add Narrabri and Moree to its airline Air Operators Certificate.

Although no firm dates have been set, Fly Corporate chief executive Andrew Major said the new flights from Brisbane to Narrabri and Moree were likely to start either in late August or early September with Metro 23 aircraft.

Major said the service would support businesses in the regions, as well as make it easier for people to travel to Brisbane for medical treatments.

“Currently the only options for travelling between Brisbane, Narrabri and Moree is a gruelling six-hour drive – making our approximately 75-minute flight time a highly desirable option that has long been on the radar” Major said.

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“The route will greatly enhance opportunities for business between Narrabri, Moree and Brisbane. It will also help attract medical specialists to the region from the Brisbane area, enhance tourism opportunities and support families with children at school or university in Queensland.

“You can never underestimate the catchment area that these new flights will appeal to – from towns like Wee Waa, Boggabri and Inverell to as far as Walgett and Lightning Ridge, this flight will make travel to and from Brisbane so much more accessible.”

The airline is also starting nonstop Brisbane-Armidale flights from August 1.

Fly Corporate's proposed schedule for Narrabri and Moree flights. (Fly Corporate)
Fly Corporate’s proposed schedule for Narrabri and Moree flights. (Fly Corporate)

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5 Comments

  • Salesh

    says:

    I wonder if there is enough demand for Newcastle – Lord Howe flights or Sydney – Lord Howe?
    Currently only QFlink does this sector and is quite expensive. ..

  • Matt

    says:

    Lord Howe’s runway would be too short for the Saab.

  • Russell M

    says:

    Lord Howe’s runway very much lives up to the Island’s name.

    Lord, How can I take off again from such a short runway 🙁

  • Daz

    says:

    Yeah Saleh, why not try for a 737 on the route too……

  • Ben

    says:

    @Russell M – that is so funny :). I’ve had similar thoughts when taking off from there in the Dash 8 – let alone with anything that has less STOL capability.

    I’m not sure why they didn’t just make the runway a bit longer when they built it. Future-proofing our infrastructure has been something we could be better at.

    I know there’s environmental concerns with Lord Howe – but doubling the runway length would mean approx 400 metres extension on each end. Possibly some land reclamation, but surely it can be done sympathetically to the environment.

    With doubling the length, you could potentially get a 737/A320 in there. Although operationally, the apron might need expansion and pavement strengthening – probably not realistic.

    However with an extended runway, you could get a Saab in there, not to mention an ATR from Virgin. If QF wanted to upgrade the aircraft, they could get a Q400 in on a longer runway.

    I wonder if fly corporate could get a Metro 23 in there? I know they’re lighter than the Saabs, just not sure of their STOL characteristics.

    Overall good news though re: their general expansion. Any additional services and/or increased competition is great for regional communities.

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