STRAP yourself in, Griffith flights to Melbourne will begin again within weeks.
The city's newest airline made the surprise announcement yesterday it would take on the route abandoned by Rex, flying twice daily from the first week of November.
While the carrier had promised to service the route with jets from early next year, it has elected to take off earlier with a small propeller plane.
The jets will take over once the airline receives permission from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).
The airline, which has yet to reveal its name for commercial reasons, will host a trial flight with CASA officials next week to earn the final tick of approval.
"It was important to us to get this route going, because right now, Griffith doesn't have a service," a spokesman for the new carrier said.
"We're excited about bringing jets to Griffith but we have to jump through a lot of hoops to get them there so we listened to what the people wanted and decided to start with our existing infrastructure.
"We see this as a vital service and, at the moment, it's crippling Griffith's business sector."
All flights from Griffith will land at Essendon Airport, where buses will be waiting to take passengers to four locations in the CBD.
There will be a morning and late afternoon flight each day, both ways. Griffith Business Chamber president Paul Pierotti said the frequent travellers would be grateful for the early start to the service.
“The business people I have approached have said there’s a significant need for this and they will support it immediately, whether it’s a propeller plane or a jet,” Mr Pierotti said.
“Landing at Essendon rather than Tullamarine is actually more convenient because it’s closer to the city and the buses will be provided there and back.
“What they’ve proposed is a seven-day-a-week service at convenient times, which is what the business community has always wanted.”
Griffith mayor John Dal Broi said he had been asked countless times when the Melbourne flights would be back in action.
“A small plane might not be very comfortable and you don’t get the refreshment services of a jet, but at least people will be able to get to their destination, particularly with Christmas coming up,” Mr Dal Broi said.