A NEW airline player set to soar into the Griffith market has been given a resounding endorsement by the local business community.
Griffith Business Chamber, a vocal critic of Regional Express (Rex), has offered in-principle support to the yet-to-be-publically-named airline, saying it could help reinvigorate the local economy.
Chamber president Paul Pierotti met with the airline’s majority shareholder this week and discussed plans for the carrier to take over the Griffith-Melbourne route abandoned by Rex.
“It sounds like a great opportunity and it was extremely pleasing to hear the airline will be focused primarily on customer service,” Mr Pierotti said.
“They seem to understand profits come from providing better services and a better product.”
He said plans for the airline to promote local wine and produce on board flights and a proposal to offer winery tours to the region could also bolster local tourism.
“He said he would be working with Tourism NSW and put together weekend packages for people from Sydney and Melbourne to stay in Griffith and do a wine tour and then fly to Broken Hill to do an outback tour and be home by the end of the weekend,” Mr Pierotti said.
“That can only be good for the economy.”
The chamber also supported the airline’s plans to make tickets cheaper at travel agents than online, saying it would give local agents a “chance to be more
The airline is expected to expand routes to Sydney and other regional centres if the Melbourne leg is a success.
“We urge everyone to support the new airline so they can expand and continue to offer a better service,” Mr Pierotti said.
He said the Melbourne flights would tighten the business link between Griffith and the Victorian capital.
“A lot of (local) businesses have set up their meetings in Sydney because it was easier to get to by air,” Mr Pierotti said.
“But we are actually closer to Melbourne and with these flights, we could be serviced by the supply line and representatives from Melbourne easier in the long-term.”
The new airline is expected to commence services in July.