Fly Corporate’s first flight from Brisbane to Dubbo on Tuesday morning landed with an assurance that the airline was not winging its entry into a new and potentially lucrative market.
Sales manager Geoff Woodham admitted the airline had a “very short lead-in to have the first service available for Dubbo”. The NSW Supreme Court appointed a liquidator for embattled JetGo in early July.
But the sales manager is super confident that Fly Corporate is here to stay.
“I’m going to put my money on it,” the veteran airline industry professional said.
“We’re going to be here for a very, very long time.
“No one makes a big decision like this without doing a lot of homework.”
Launched in 1972, Fly Corporate calls itself “one of the largest and longest established air charter and aviation service providers based in eastern and southern Australia”.
It operates from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to regional Queensland and NSW.
Mr Woodham said in the past few years it had moved into “regular passenger transport” involving the scheduling of daily flights.
“There are big costs ..but the rewards are outstanding,” he said.
Dubbo Regional Council has cushioned Fly Corporate’s arrival in Dubbo by waiving landing fees for 12 months in accordance with existing policy.
By mid-morning Tuesday, 19 paying customers had arrived in Dubbo on a 34-seat Saab 340B Plus and 14 passengers had boarded it for the journey back to Brisbane.
Mr Woodham said the aircraft only ever carried a maximum of 30 passengers for reasons including the comfort of passengers.
Return flights between Brisbane and Dubbo will operate every day except Saturday.
On September 28, Fly Corporate will begin return flights on Fridays and Sundays between Dubbo and Melbourne.
Dubbo Regional Council mayor Cr Ben Shields and two other council figures were on Tuesday’s flight to Dubbo during which champagne was offered to passengers.
Cr Shields said the cost of the trio’s excursion to Brisbane and back was “coming out of the marketing budget for the airport”.
“It’s important to show Fly Corporate that we’re backing them, we’re behind them and getting them any publicity we can,” he said.