- Latest tender follows launch of trial of Kununurra-Halls Creek-Balgo route in July 2018
- New three-year contract proposed to provide longer-term certainty for the air route
- Regional flights reduce isolation and open up opportunities for tourism, jobs and services.
A competitive tender process has commenced for an airline to provide a regular public transport air service between Kununurra, Halls Creek and Balgo from July 2020.
The tender proposes a new three-year contract, initially for a one-year term, plus two one-year extension options, providing longer-term certainty for the air route.
The extension options allow the Department of Transport to regularly review the air service to ensure it meets the needs of the communities. The State Government will provide up to $500,000 a year to support the air service.
The Kimberley intra-regional air service trial commenced in July 2018 as a result of a collaborative approach from the State Government, Aviair, the local community and local government. The trial ends on June 30, 2020.
The tender is available on TendersWA and closes on February 28, 2020. Applications will be assessed by the Department of Transport, and a successful airline will be announced before the current agreement expires.
The deed will outline the schedule, maximum fares, service requirements and reporting requirements that will need to be met by the successful airline.
Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
"This is a win for the Kimberley as this provides up to three additional years of certainty for air services to the towns of Kununurra, Halls Creek and Balgo.
"Air services connecting regional and remote communities help reduce isolation and open up opportunities for tourism, jobs and services.
"These air services mean community members and visitors can travel via air within the Kimberley region, which is particularly important for communities like Balgo that often get cut off via road in the wet season.
"The tender invites airlines to submit innovative proposals for services on the intra-regional air route, with the tender closing February 28, 2020. Applications will be assessed, and the successful airline will be announced thereafter.
"The Kimberley will have another air service boost when the Melbourne to Kununurra flight trial starts in May 2020, providing a direct connection interstate for locals; and more opportunities for tourists to further explore the Kimberley region."
Minister's office - 6552 5500