Carnarvon feels pinch of reduced air services
Many Carnarvon residents were anxious they would not be able to fly their children home for Easter, according to Nationals Mining and Pastoral Member Jacqui Boydell.
She said many people had expressed frustration at reduced air passenger services from Perth and were concerned about available flights booking out quickly.
Labor Mining and Pastoral Member Stephen Dawson said Skippers Aviation was not fulfilling its contract with the WA Government and was operating a reduced schedule on the Carnarvon to Perth route.
In answer to questions in Parliament from Ms Boydell, Mr Dawson said Skippers was operating the regular passenger transport service with a reduced schedule because of a “significant loss” of pilots.
Mr Dawson, who answered on behalf of Transport Minister Rita Saffioti, said the department had had “substantial engagement” with Skippers in recent months.
He said this had resulted in the carrier increasing the size of its planes from 30 seats to 50 on some services to accommodate more travellers. Ms Boydell asked what the minister would do to ensure services continued to operate at an appropriate standard with key tourism events and school holidays looming.
Mr Dawson said the transport department would “continue to liaise” with Skippers until Regional Express took over as the new operator of the route on July 2. Ms Boydell said she would continue to press the minister to ensure services did not diminish further, Saturday flights were reinstated, and fares to and from Perth did not rise for Carnarvon people.
Shire of Carnarvon chief executive Mark Dacombe said he and his staff were not aware of any children stranded in Perth over the Easter holidays.
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