Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Premier; Treasurer; Minister for Public Sector Management; Federal-State Relations

Hon Rita Saffioti BBus MLA

Hon Rita Saffioti BBus MLA

Minister for Transport; Planning; Ports

    More affordable airfares have landed for regional Western Australians

    31/03/2022 5:00 AM
     
    • Airfares capped for regional residents travelling to and from Perth from July 1, 2022
    • First scheme of its kind implemented in Australia, as committed at the election
    • $199 one-way for regional residents departing within 1,000km driving distance from Perth
    • $299 one-way for regional residents departing more than 1,000km driving distance from Perth

    The McGowan Labor Government has delivered on a significant election commitment, with regional residents able to access capped airfares from July 1, in an Australian-first.

     

    Regional residents who are departing an airport within 1,000 kilometres driving distance from Perth will now pay no more than $199 for a one-way flight both ways when booked as a return flight. This includes from Albany, Carnarvon, Esperance, Geraldton, Monkey Mia (Denham), Wiluna, Kalgoorlie, Laverton, Leonora, Meekatharra and Mount Magnet.

     

    Regional residents departing from an airport more than 1,000km driving distance from Perth will now pay no more than $299 for a one-way flight both ways when booked as a return flight. This includes Broome, Karratha, Newman, Port Hedland, Exmouth (Learmonth), Kununurra and Paraburdoo.

     

    The McGowan Government has committed $19.8 million to deliver on this unprecedented commitment - the very first State capped airfares scheme in Australia.

     

    Airfares have been a long-term concern for regional communities in WA, with many residents needing to travel to Perth for medical or personal appointments or to visit family and friends - previously flights had reached up to $1,000.  

     

    The McGowan Government has made addressing the cost of regional airfares a priority, and has consulted extensively with regional communities and airlines to support regional aviation in WA. 

     

    The State's delivery of the Parliamentary Inquiry into regional airfares, a 2017 election commitment, triggered a major transformation of regional aviation with several initiatives undertaken in recent years, including Qantas, Virgin and Skippers Aviation introducing resident fares on their respective routes for the first time in WA. This also followed the introduction of Rex Airlines' Community Fares scheme on its routes in WA.

     

    The new scheme is a partnership between the State Government and five airlines: Airnorth, Qantas, Rex Airlines, Skippers Aviation and Virgin, and builds on each of the airlines' resident fare programs by reducing their resident fare prices to the zone cap fare of $199 or $299.

     

    To participate, each airline needed to apply to the State Government and have a regional airfare program in place.

     

    Regional residents can still access sale or lower fares below the cap prices, however this scheme provides certainty and affordability to fly to Perth at capped fares if needed.

     

    To access the zone cap fares, residents will need to book a return fare with travel commencing in the regions.

     

    Tickets will go on sale through respective airlines from today for flights commencing from July 1, 2022.

     

    Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

     

    "We are delivering on our election commitment to cap airfares for regional flights, making it more affordable for those living in regional WA.

     

    "We have allocated $19.8 million to provide a cap on airfares for flights to and from Perth over the next three years.

     

    "This will make a huge difference for those residents needing to travel to and from Perth - whether that be for medical or personal appointments or to visit family and friends.

     

    "Our plan will ease the burden of regional travel costs by making sure that regional Western Australians are able to get to and from Perth when they need to travel at a fair price.

    "It's the right thing to do - and it will help to keep regional WA communities strong."

     

    Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:

     

    "We know how important accessible and affordable flights are for regional communities to attend medical and personal appointments in Perth, and visit family and friends, particularly at short notice.

     

    "When we were elected in 2017, we immediately started working on the Parliamentary Inquiry into Regional Airfares, engaging with regional communities and airlines on how we could help provide affordable and accessible regional airfares.

     

    "Since that time many airlines have implemented regional airfare programs and we have also worked with airlines on adding additional routes, such as the direct flights between Derby and Broome.

     

    "This scheme is the first of its kind in Australia and I am so proud we have secured this funding and have been able to work collaboratively with airlines and regional communities to deliver this unprecedented election commitment."

     

    Premier's office - 6552 5000

    Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500