The McGowan Government and Virgin Australia’s Kimberley partnership is now one of the State’s most successful-ever intrastate flight deals, with all of the nearly 8,000 discounted tickets selling out in the first week of the promotion.
The partnership, launched on July 21, offered airfares between Perth and Broome and Perth and Kununurra for $199 one way and $229 one way respectively, with the discounts available both ways.
The partnership sees the Perth-Broome route return to a daily service (up from three per week) and Perth-Kununurra flights running three times per week (up from two per week).
The increased services are adding 22,000 extra seats to the Kimberley from August 3, 2020 and October 31, 2020, providing an important boost to the region’s tourism industry and wider economy as it manages the impacts of COVID-19.
Virgin Australia has reported that the partnership is one of its best ever sales which demonstrates the State Government’s Wander Out Yonder campaign is working to encourage Western Australians to travel the State and support the regional tourism industry.
Following the success of the sales, Virgin Australia has itself scheduled additional flights between Perth and Broome over the peak October school holiday period.
These additional flights will operate on Monday, Friday and Sunday from September 25, 2020 until October 11, 2020.
Anecdotal reports from industry indicate the State’s regional tourism sector has enjoyed very strong visitation in recent weeks, in particular over the school holidays.
Most regions are reporting very strong numbers as Western Australians take advantage of opportunities to holiday at home this year.
The State Government is continuing to negotiate with a number of airlines to secure discounted airfares for visitors and residents for a range of regional destinations.
As stated by Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:
“This partnership is one of the most successful of its kind the State has ever seen. It is wonderful to see Western Australians are embracing the call to discover parts of the State the rest of the world has been enjoying in record numbers in recent years.
“The Kimberley tourism sector was one of the hardest hit by the unavoidable impacts of COVID-19 but this partnership will make sure thousands of visitors flow into the region over the coming months.
“The discounted airfares will provide a welcome boost for tourism operators, and we encourage people to book experiences and tours as part of their trips.
“Importantly, the success of the partnership has demonstrated to airlines that the demand to visit the region is strong – with Virgin itself putting on additional flights following the popularity of the sale.
“We are continuing to have discussions with a number of airlines to secure good value deals for Western Australians to boost visitation and the benefits for regional economies around the State.”
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“During the COVID-19 period, the McGowan Government has worked closely with airlines and the Commonwealth to ensure that regional towns remained connected by maintaining a minimum network of flights throughout the State.
“As Western Australia continues to emerge from the crisis, ensuring that both regional residents and tourists have access to increased availability and affordability of flights is a key priority.
“The success of this partnership is not only a great outcome for tourists; residents of Broome and Kununurra have been able to secure discounted flights to Perth in order to visit family and friends or to attend appointments.
“The McGowan Government has also worked in partnership with Regional Express and Skippers Aviation to secure more access to flights to destinations including Albany, Esperance, Carnarvon, Monkey Mia and the Eastern Goldfields.”