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New air service from big city to wilderness breaks the mould

May 27, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

In a bold new step, Alliance Airlines is launching direct nonstop scheduled service from one of Australia’s biggest cities to one of the world’s most remote and precious wilderness regions, in Western Australia.

Alliance Airlines, together with the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley and the East Kimberley Marketing Group (EKMG) yesterday announced a direct seasonal scheduled service linking Melbourne and Kununurra in the heart of Western Australia’s iconic Kimberley region. The flight distance is 2918 kilometres.

Between May and August 2020 Alliance Airlines will operate three return services per week, using Alliance’s Fokker 70 aircraft seating 80 passengers.

Alliance Airlines chief executive, Lee Schofield said “Alliance is delighted to be partnering with the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley and the East Kimberley Marketing Group in this innovative tourism project to bring visitors to such a beautiful part of Australia.”

“Alliance Airlines is pleased to be able to offer Victorian and south-eastern states travellers the ability to fly directly to the famous Kimberley region, as well as providing direct and affordable air services for residents of the East Kimberley region to travel to Melbourne and other cities on the East Coast of Australia via our partnership with Virgin Australia”.

Alliance Airlines chief executive, Lee Schofield

“These new services will play a key role in attracting more tourists to the East Kimberley, driving economic growth to our region”, President of the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley, David Menzel, said.

“Through our partnership with Alliance Airlines, we are also committed to providing affordable airfares to local residents and businesses travelling to Melbourne”.

Chair of the East Kimberley Marketing Group, Michael McConachy, said the service had been four years in the planning “and has been made possible by all the key stakeholders including local government, state government, and the local tourism and business community working in collaboration.

“Some of Australia’s key natural assets are located in the East Kimberley and the direct service will provide a cost effective and time efficient option for travellers to the region”.

Virgin Australia Group chief executive and managing director, Paul Scurrah, said: “We look forward to codesharing with Alliance Airlines on this new route, allowing eligible guests to earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points and Status Credits. The Melbourne-Kununurra flight will also connect onto our extensive domestic and international network out of Melbourne.”

Flights between Melbourne and Kununurra are expected to go on sale in the coming months through local travel agents and via www.virginaustralia.com.

Kununurra is the gateway town to the East Kimberley, from where visitors can explore some of Western Australia’s most remarkable natural attractions, including World Heritage-listed Purnululu National Park and its beehive-shaped Bungle Bungle Range.

About 93.5% of the Kimberley is now recognised as native title lands following three federal court determinations last week.

Alliance is Australasia’s leading provider of contract, charter and allied aviation services, currently employing over 590 full-time staff. It also operates scheduled airline services between Brisbane, Bundaberg, Gladstone and Port Macquarie – with Melbourne-Kununurra commencing in May 2020.

Aerial view of the Bungle Bungle range

The business currently operates a fleet of 23 Fokker F100, 10 Fokker 70LR jet aircraft and five Fokker 50 turboprops with additional fleet units scheduled to enter service during the rest of 2019. Alliance has operational bases in Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, and Darwin.

Edited by Peter Needham

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