Dubbo Regional Council mayor Ben Shields is warning Western NSW residents that if they don’t use Fly Corporate flights they will lose them.
He has also dismissed scuttlebutt about ticket costs, declaring “no one ever likes the cost of an aircraft ticket”.
Fly Corporate sales manager Geoff Woodham offered advice on getting cheaper tickets after its first flight into Dubbo from Brisbane landed on Tuesday.
Dubbo Regional Council was out in force to welcome passengers on the inaugural flight, including Cr Shields, Cr Greg Mohr and council’s chief executive officer Michael McMahon.
After alighting from the aircraft, Cr Shields said he was confident that Fly Corporate would be a long-term replacement for the defunct JetGo.
“I think it will work but again the message is to the people of Dubbo and Western NSW use this service or lose it,” he said. “If they don’t have passengers, they will leave town."
The mayor said the cost of air travel was the “biggest complaint” he had received since being elected to council.
“Regional airline flights are always going to be more expensive than the bigger domestic flights between capital cities,” he said.
Mr Woodham, who has seen a significant increase in “forward bookings”, said Friday and Sunday were Fly Corporate’s busiest days and fares were cheaper midweek.
“Those people wanting to go and see family go midweek,” he said.
“For businesses, if they can arrange their schedules to do midweek travel, it means they are going to get better fares.”
Fly Corporate is currently offering a “celebratory” $239 one-way all-inclusive web deal fare.
From September 28, it will launch flights between Dubbo and Melbourne on Fridays and Sundays.