Tender for air services on regulated air routes opens

  • Airline proposals sought to provide air services between Perth and Albany, Esperance, Carnarvon and Monkey Mia, as well as the Northern Goldfields routes
  • Current agreements with airlines for air services on the routes expire in October 2023
  • Airlines are invited to tender for the exclusive rights to operate air services on regulated air routes between Perth and Albany, Esperance, Carnarvon and Monkey Mia, as well as Perth-Laverton-Leonora and Perth-Mount Magnet-Meekatharra-Wiluna (Northern Goldfields routes).

    The tender, which was advertised on Tenders WA today, seeks proposals from airlines to provide services on the regulated routes under a new minimum five-year agreement with the State Government, with flexibility for airlines to propose flights that may link to other regional or intrastate centres.

    The Department of Transport has agreements in place with Rex and Skippers Aviation that are due to expire in October 2023.

    Rex currently holds the exclusive rights to provide air services between Albany, Esperance, Carnarvon-Monkey Mia and Perth, while Skippers Aviation holds the exclusive rights for air services between Perth-Laverton-Leonora and Perth-Mount Magnet-Meekatharra-Wiluna (Northern Goldfields routes).

    The State Government regulates some air routes within Western Australia to ensure efficient, effective and regular air services occur on these routes and the needs of the community are met.

    In the interest of accountability, fairness and transparency, the State Government conducts open, competitive tenders on regulated air routes, to appoint an air service provider for a designated period.

    Regulation of these routes has so far produced positive outcomes, helping ensure certainty of services, allowing innovative approaches to resident fares and has resulted in record levels of demand on the Albany and Esperance routes.

    Bidding airlines must address in their submissions extensive tender evaluation criteria that aim to ensure air services are most appropriate for each regional community. As part of the tender requirements, airlines will need to have a Resident Fare program in place to ensure Zone Cap fares continue.

    The tender closes on 15 November 2022. A multi-organisational tender evaluation panel, along with an independent aviation consultant, will be assessing the tender submissions. An independent probity officer will also provide guidance during the process.

    The outcomes of the tender process will be announced in the first half of 2023, with contract negotiations with the successful airlines to follow.

    As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:

    “This State Government has made air services and air service infrastructure in regional WA a priority, making significant investments in improving affordability and connectivity for regional air services.

    “We are seeking airline proposals to provide air services between the regulated air routes of Perth and Albany, Esperance, Carnarvon and Monkey Mia, as well as the Northern Goldfields routes, with the tender providing flexibility for airlines to propose links to other towns.

    “A competitive tender process to appoint airlines to provide exclusive services on these routes for the next five years allows commercial certainty, and also allows confidence of continuation of regular, efficient and affordable air services to the regional community.”

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