Fly Corporate suspended flights into Orange, Dubbo and the rest of regional NSW on Friday after confusion around transporting essential workers into NSW, but clarification was gained for flights to continue next week for people with exemptions.
This week the NSW government said all people flying into NSW from Victoria would need to come via Sydney, but it was unclear if people with exemptions would also have to land in the state capital.
Fly Corporate was due to have a flight land in Orange on Friday morning, but Fly Corporate airline services manager Jeff Boyd said the company had pulled services until it could confirm essential workers were still allowed to fly direct to regional areas.
However, on Friday afternoon Mr Boyd received word travellers with exemptions would be able to fly direct from Melbourne to Orange without going via Sydney or being quarantined for 14 days.
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People without exemptions will be forced to fly through Sydney and quarantine.
Mr Boyd said Fly Corporate had already stopped flying returning residents who were being told to quarantine, and would be checking before Tuesday's flight to Orange if all passengers were deemed essential and had exemptions to travel.
It's understood the number of exemptions would be limited.
"If none of them have exemptions then we won't put on a flight," he said.
He said only being able to fly people with exemptions would be a hit to the airline financially, but understood Fly Corporate would have to "roll with the punches" as the pandemic raged.
"It's no different for any other industry at the moment," he said.
Earlier on Friday, Mr Boyd said he'd been "frustrated" with the lack of communication around exemptions for medical or mining specialists.
"We understand it's not legal to fly directly into Orange or other regional centres for returning residents, we want clarification around essential workers who have permits," he said.
"We're not mavericks, we've cancelled flights until we've got that clarification."
He said changes related to the closure of the Queensland border at 1am on Saturday had been far more manageable, with flights to continue as they had been before borders reopened - only for people with exemptions.
None of NSW Health, NSW Services, NSW Police, or Brad Hazzard's office responded to requests for comment.