The McGowan Government has today welcomed Virgin Australia’s announcement of cheaper airfares, which will benefit residents in regional Western Australia.
The fares are available to residents who are members of the Velocity Frequent Flyer program and have their profile linked to a regional address at an eligible location.
Minimum return fares are available through the program from $400 for Kalgoorlie, $500 for Karratha, Port Hedland, Newman and Broome and $550 for Kununurra.
Maximum capped return fares are also being introduced as part of the program: $600 for Kalgoorlie; $700 for Karratha, Port Hedland, Newman and Broome; and $750 for Kununurra.
This new initiative builds on the McGowan Government’s commitment to secure more affordable regional airfares to Perth which arose from the Parliamentary Inquiry into regional airfares, a key election commitment.
The McGowan Government is also providing affordable and accessible airfares through financial support of $24.4 million to WA’s aviation industry.
This State Government’s commitment has already enabled discounted airfares for travel from Broome, Kununurra, Exmouth and Perth along with more community fares to all passengers including visitors to Albany, Esperance, Carnarvon and Monkey Mia.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“In a State that is as big as WA, it’s crucial our regional residents have more opportunities and access to flexible air travel so they can stay connected and go about their business.
“Initiatives like these give people more scope to commute for work, reunite with family and friends as well as manage their day-to-day affairs without being financially penalised should they need to travel at short notice.
“Implementing lower airfares for regional residents was a key action arising from the Parliamentary Inquiry into regional airfares, which was an election commitment of this Government.
“The capped fare pricing makes it fairer and more reasonable for WA regional residents travelling to Perth.
“It’s because of the direct engagement between regional communities, the Department of Transport and Virgin Australia, which has resulted in the introduction of this program to benefit regional WA.
“I’m pleased Virgin Australia’s new Regional Fares Program complements the significant work and investment delivered as part of our $24.4 million commitment to regional aviation recovery, which supports local jobs and provides a boost to these regional economies.”
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“We know that access to affordable regional airfares isn’t just critical for the Western Australian economy but also for the health and wellbeing of local residents and their families.
“I welcome Virgin Australia’s announcement today of additional affordable flights for regional residents, as this will make it more affordable to get to Perth for medical appointments and to see friends and family.
“This will make a huge difference in providing better links between regional communities and Perth.
“This is something we have been working hard on together with airlines to establish, and we welcome the great progress that has been made by airlines in offering resident fares on most regional WA air routes.
“Our Government is continuing to work with airlines and local communities to encourage and negotiate more affordable regional airfares such as the recent announcement we made about a new flight to be trialled between Broome and Derby.”