- Derby to Broome air services will be extended to June 2023
- Aviair flights will continue to be offered at fixed airfare of $119 one way
The Derby to Broome subsidised air service trial, which was due to expire in August 2022, has been extended until June 30, 2023 allowing more time to build demand on the route.
Aviair currently provides four flights a week at a fixed airfare of $119 one way, enabling Derby residents to visit Broome for leisure or business and to connect to Perth and Kununurra, via Broome. The services will also provide opportunities for travellers from Perth to connect with Derby, via Broome.
The trial Derby to Broome air service was launched in August 2021 after the State Government committed $1 million to establish the route. The State Government entered into a deed of agreement with Aviair to provide the new service, following a public tender process.
The trial Derby to Broome air service has been impacted by travel restrictions and disruptions due to COVID-19, which has made it difficult to measure the true demand for service.
An extension of the trial will allow more time to build demand, so that the air services can be evaluated in the context of more normal market conditions.
In February 2022, an additional air service on Mondays was added which allows same day return travel from Derby to Broome, or reverse, allowing Derby residents to access facilities or services in Broome and return later in the afternoon.
During the extension period the State will continue to work with stakeholders and collect community feedback to build demand on the route. This will inform the options for the route in the longer term.
Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
"Given the impacts of COVID-19, it's been difficult to assess the true demand for the Derby-Broome air service trial.
"Extending the trial until June 2023 will provide us with more time to properly assess the success of the trial.
"We want to give the trial the best shot to succeed and raising community awareness of the service has been critical in building the demand to date.
"There is currently monthly engagement between Aviair, the Department of Transport, the Shire of Derby/West Kimberley, the Kimberley Development Commission, the Shire of Broome, and Broome Airport, all of whom have actively worked together on promoting the air services.
"We are committed to ensuring regular and affordable air services in our regions, and this trial is another way we are helping further connect regional WA."
Comments attributed to Kimberley MLA Divina D'Anna:
"Extending this trial for another 12 months will be critical to properly understanding the true demand for this service given the impacts we have seen from COVID-19.
"Trialling new transport options between major Kimberley hubs is critical as it helps open up more economic and tourism opportunities for communities in the Kimberley."
"This trial and our recent introduction of capped airfares highlights our government's commitment to supporting regional communities."
Minister's office - 6552 5500