Virgin Australia reduces regional services to southern Western Australia

28 November 2014 – David Eyre

VH-FNA Fokker 50 (MSN 20106) of Virgin Australia Regional Airlines, named “Rockingham Beach”, at Perth Airport – Wed 19 February 2014. Photo © David Eyre
VH-FNA Fokker 50 (MSN 20106) of Virgin Australia Regional Airlines, named “Rockingham Beach”, at Perth Airport – Wed 19 February 2014.
VH-FNA is the only Fokker 50 to be painted in Virgin Australia livery – all of the others in the fleet will retain their Skywest livery until they are retired and replaced by ATR72s.
Photo © David Eyre

Virgin Australia Regional Airlines will cut the number of flights between Perth and Albany, Busselton, Esperance and Ravensthorpe from 5 December 2014.

The carrier will eliminate 11 out of the current 40 flights per week, a move which has been criticised as a blow to business and tourism.

The new schedule reduce Albany services from 20 flights per week to 15 and Esperance flights from 18 to 13 per week.

These routes are regulated by the WA Department of Transport, to ensure their commercial viability.

Industry associations have noted that at the end of the consultation regarding the proposed service reductions, the State Government said that they did not support it, but have now reversed the decision.

Transport Minister Dean Nalder said that the department had ensured that the service reductions were not as severe as Virgin had originally planned.

The City of Albany said it would support a reduction in the number of flights only if the overall passenger numbers remained the same, such as switching some flights to Fokker 100 jet aircraft, instead of Fokker 50 turboprops.

David Eyre

President, Aviation Association of WA Inc

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