Western NSW communities are celebrating the start of new direct flights to Dubbo, cutting hours of travel time and reducing isolation.
Air Link flew into Bourke on Monday and touched down in Walgett and Lightning Ridge on Tuesday.
It marked the start of the first regular passenger flights to the western NSW ports in more than a decade, achieved through an agreement between the NSW government and the Far North West Joint Organisation (FNWJO).
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The government is stumping up $8 million to ensure the sustainability of the new routes, which also includes direct flights between Cobar and Sydney, and Cobar and Dubbo, operated by FlyPelican.
Bourke mayor Barry Holman said the town had been without a regular air service for about 12 years, "so to get it up and running yesterday was really exciting".
He hosted a ceremony, attended by local residents and NSW ministers in town for the Community Cabinet event.
Like I said in my speech yesterday, it opens Bourke up to the world, and it opens the world up to Bourke.Cr Barry Holman
"Like I said in my speech yesterday, it opens Bourke up to the world, and it opens the world up to Bourke," he told the Daily Liberal on Tuesday.
"It just changes things immensely now.
"You can fly from Bourke to Dubbo in an hour and in another hour you're in Sydney.
Cr Holman said the three member councils of the FNWJO hoped the transport link would encourage professional people to come out to their towns.
"When you've got an air service, professional people can come in for the week, fly away for the weekend, and fly back in on the Monday and start doing the work again.
"So we're excited by it and we just hope it will extend way beyond the four years we've got funding for."
Cr Holman encouraged the people of the shire, who are eligible for a "community fare" to embrace the service.
He praised Deputy Premier John Barilaro for his support of the service, and the Dubbo-based airline for operating the connection.
Air Link general manager Ron O'Brien said it had been a great launch day at Bourke.
"We had several passengers on our departure from Dubbo yesterday morning, including one of the ministers travelling out to Bourke for the cabinet meeting," he said.
"The arrival at Bourke was on time, and a nice reception for a couple the townsfolk when we came in."
With the Community Cabinet and a number of events on at Bourke, there had been a "big buzz" in town on Monday and that had flowed into Air Link's departure in the afternoon, Mr O'Brien said.
"We got a lovely ceremony hosted by the mayor, Barry Holman, and the Minister for Western NSW Adam Marshall had some kind words to say about Air Link and the services," he said.
"It was a lovely time, and again we had a full ship out of Bourke back to Dubbo again.
"So very encouraging signs, Bourke has been waiting a long time for an air service again and there's certainly a lot of enthusiasm within the community and we're encouraged by that, and I think it will be a bit of a goer."