Every adult in Griffith may soon be able to fly to Sydney, according to a new deal adding 17,000 seats to the route annually.
An agreement struck between Rex Airlines and Griffith City Council will also see the introduction of a $129 ‘community fare’ which will be available for 25 per cent of seats between Griffith and Sydney for advanced bookings.
One extra return flight will also be added every weekday, bringing the total return flight service to six.
The new schedule is expected to launch on October 29.
Rex general manager network strategy and sales Warrick Lodge said Griffith was the 13th community community within Australia to receive reduced flights.
“Griffith is the 13th community in the Rex network to receive the successful Rex Community Fare scheme. The combination of improved fare affordability and additional flight frequency will deliver significant socio-economic benefits to the Griffith community and surrounding region,” he said.
The move comes months after EastWest airlines announced it would explore opening a route between Melbourne and Griffith. EastWest airlines’ website now says it is “looking to start flights in late 2018”.
The increased schedule was made possible when Rex exited their Mildura – Sydney route, freeing up the aircraft, flight crew and airport slot for Griffith.
According to Rex, the decision to leave Mildura was attributed to “increased airport charges imposed by Mildura airport” as well as the new partnership with council.
Griffith city councillor and transport committee member Simon Croce welcomed the addition of more seats.
“I think it’s a positive all around for Griffith. We’re probably not quite big enough for another carrier. We just came on board to add more flights and add a few cheaper seats. It’s in their interest to run a full plane,” he said.
“More inexpensive seats will give more people the opportunity to fly. There’s no doubt about it, it’s got to be a good thing.”
According to a statement released by the airline, it was approached by council to explore the possibility of expanding the Griffith-Sydney service.
“We’re always proactively trying to do a good deal for Griffith. They had lost a flight and that was seen as an opportunity to bolster our position with them. I’m not taking credit for other people, but it was worthwhile because it’s a win-win,” Cr Croce said.
Mayor John Dal Broi echoed a similar sentiment.
“I think this is a great result for Griffith and I’m sure local residents and businesses will also agree,” he said.
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