The first flight of a new Dubbo-Newcastle service has touched down as the potential for growth appears on the horizon of the city’s airport.
FlyPelican made a smooth start to the operation of its newest route on Monday morning, director Paul Graham said.
The airline left Newcastle for Dubbo on time with 14 passengers and FlyPelican staff on board, he said.
They were welcomed at Dubbo by Western Plains Regional Council administrator Michael Kneipp and staff.
A council facility, Dubbo City Regional Airport recently reported of its strengthening performance.
It set a record for passenger numbers in the past year, with 203,294 people passing through its gates.
The 7.6 per cent increase coincided with the addition of direct services to more destinations.
“These figures signal the strength of the region and the opportunities for inbound tourism and business as much as providing opportunities for local people to travel to a variety of destinations,” Mr Kneipp said last week.
The launch of FlyPelican’s Dubbo-Newcastle service opens up more gateways.
Airport operations manager Lindsay Mason said the arrival of the first flight from Newcastle was fantastic.
“We’re hoping it takes off,” he said.
Mr Graham reported a diverse group of people had flown on its first day.
Among the eight passengers boarding at Dubbo were those travelling for medical appointments, he said.
Some of the people bound for Dubbo had been farmers flying in to check their crops, he said.
Others were visiting Dubbo’s Taronga Western Plains Zoo for the day, he said.
The director said Monday was a milestone.
“We feel fulfilled and excited to be able to offer yet another air service to regional NSW,” Mr Graham said.
The director, who was on board the inaugural flight, said passengers on the flight from Newcastle were treated to zoo-themed cakes.
They were also presented with gift bags when they landed at Dubbo.
More information about FlyPelican’s flight schedule and fares can be found at www.flypelican.com.au.