‘Sluggish’ start for flights

ON SCHEDULE: FlyPelican CEO Paul Graham said while bookings for the flights between Dubbo and Canberra had been slow, it wasn't completely unexpected for this time of the year. Photo: FILE
ON SCHEDULE: FlyPelican CEO Paul Graham said while bookings for the flights between Dubbo and Canberra had been slow, it wasn't completely unexpected for this time of the year. Photo: FILE

A rush of booking for the flights from Dubbo to Canberra have yet to come, but FlyPeliocan CEO Paul Graham is hopeful.

In December Newcastle-based airline FlyPelican announced it would start flights between Dubbo and Canberra at the end of January.

There will be flights Monday to Friday between the two cities, and Mr Graham said weekend services would be considered if there was a demand.

 Weeks away from the first flight on January 31, the CEO said bookings for the service had been slow.

I wouldn’t say I’m not concerned because it’s very difficult to look at flights when there’s only one or two people on them.

Paul Graham

“Currently bookings have been fairly sluggish but that’s fairly normal with still three weeks to go. Generally most of our bookings are made within two weeks of the flight time, probably 80 per cent of them,” he said.

“I wouldn’t say I’m not concerned because it’s very difficult to look at flights when there’s only one or two people on them.”

The flights are targeted at government employees and business people, with flight times allowing a full day to be spent in Canberra. Having just come out of the festive period, Mr Graham said a lot of business people were still on holidays, which could account for the delayed uptake in bookings.

“We’re hopeful we’ll see a greater influx of bookings across our whole network. It’s not just Dubbo to Canberra that has been slow. January is a slow month for bookings,” Mr Graham said.

However, Mr Graham said the price of the flights made them available for those travelling for leisure as well.

A lot of research was done before launching the flights, Mr Graham said, particularly with the Dubbo community.

“There hasn’t been a service for as long as I know between Dubbo and Canberra. It is a little bit of an unknown, but we have put into the market fares which are very competitive,” he said.

FlyPelican also has flights between Dubbo and Newcastle. Mr Graham said the next step fort he company wasn’t look at new routes, but looking at what they were already doing.

“We’re looking to make sure what we’re doing, we’re doing really well,” he said.

One-way fares from Dubbo to Canberra start from $139. Flights can be bought directly from www.flypelican.com.au.