A new player is entering the WA regional airline market with the launch of Nexus Airlines, which will begin flights from 10 July.
Owned by Aviair, Nexus will fly five 76-seater de Havilland Dash 8-Q400 aircraft on three routes: a direct Geraldton–Perth service, and multi-stop services from Geraldton–Karratha–Port Hedland–Broome and Broome–Kununurra–Darwin. It will compete with NT-based regional carrier Airnorth, and maintain two regional bases in Geraldton and Broome.
Michael McConachy, managing director of Nexus, says the airline’s name represents its goal of providing new and improved connections between towns and cities in regional WA.
“We have a proud history of supporting and contributing to regional communities and we understand that reliable and regular air connectivity is a key economic driver and is fundamentally important in attracting and retaining people,” he said.
“I’m confident that Nexus Airlines will enhance the livability of our regional towns and will boost our regional economies.”
The WA government has committed $4.05 million over four years until June 2027 to expand the state’s Inter-Regional Flight Network (IRFN), having granted Aviair a monopoly to establish the service in 2019.
State Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the bigger planes would offer more than eight times the capacity of Aviair’s existing nine-seater Pilatus PC-12 planes on the IRFN.
“We have invested more than $4 million to expand the Inter-Regional Flight Network, and the launch of Nexus Airlines will mean bigger planes, more routes, better services and cheaper airfares for regional Western Australians,” she said.
“The network expansion will mean for the first time in our State’s regional aviation history, people will be able to fly directly between Karratha and Geraldton. This will be a game-changer, linking Geraldton businesses and workers to the State’s booming mining industry in the Pilbara.”
According to McConachy, the new and expanded IRFN is a “remarkable outcome” involving the support of the WA government, four local councils, two private airports and a regional airline.
“It is a collaboration that will add significant value to the regional cities and towns involved, and I thank all the stakeholders for their support, which has been critical to the launch of Nexus Airlines,” he said.
“Nexus Airlines will be a truly regional airline which is based in the regions to support and grow the regions.”