Nexus Airlines launched to service regional WA

Nexus Airlines launched to service regional WA

A scenic and chartered flights company based in Kununurra has today launched a new regional airline to connect the Kimberley, Pilbara, and Mid-West regions of Western Australia, with the support of a $4 million investment from the State Government as part of the Inter-Regional Flight Network (IRFN).

The $4 million will be spent over four years with a similar combined contribution from local governments including the City of Greater Geraldton, City of Karratha, Town of Port Hedland, and the Shire of Broome

Local company Aviair, which has more than 38 years of regional aviation experience and is owned by aviation and tourism company HMC Group, has launched new high-capacity air services under the brand Nexus Airlines.

Flights are expected to start on Monday, 10 July and will include new services linking Geraldton to Perth, and Broome to Kununurra and onto Darwin, as well as an expanded network of Geraldton-Karratha-Port Hedland-Broome and return.

The airline is also set to develop two regional bases in Broome and Geraldton.

The company's fleet of five De Havilland next generation 76-seater Dash 8 – Q400 aircraft have been carefully selected for their performance in hot and humid conditions, cabin comfort, high cruising speed, and significant fuel and carbon emission savings compared to similar-sized jet aircraft.

Through a partnership with Kununurra-based Waringarri Aboriginal Arts Centre, Nexus Airlines has been privileged to engage senior artists and Miriwoong elders, Peggy Griffiths Madij and Ben Ward Galmirrl, to create a unique brand design that represents the many interconnecting rivers, creeks and waterholes, and the connection of family and community through movement.

"The word ‘Nexus’ means ‘connection’ and that is exactly what we have set out to achieve – new and improved air connectivity between regional towns and cities," says Aviair managing director Michael McConachy.

"The HMC Group currently employs a team of more than 300 staff with the vast majority living and working in regional Western Australia.

"We have a proud history of supporting and contributing to regional communities and we understand that reliable and regular air connectivity is a key economic driver and is fundamentally important in attracting and retaining people."

McConachy is confident that Nexus Airlines will enhance the livability of regional towns and boost regional economies.

"It’s been a huge journey to get here, and I would like to thank our team who have been working around the clock. I have had this dream for many years and to see Nexus Airlines come to life is just so exciting and rewarding," he says.

"This is a remarkable outcome where the State Government, four Local Governments, two private airports, and a regional airline have all supported the new and expanded IRFN.

"It is a collaboration that will add significant value to the regional cities and towns involved, and I thank all the stakeholders for their support; which has been critical to the launch of Nexus Airlines."

More than 100,000 capped airfares were booked in the first nine months of the IRFN scheme from the WA Government, allowing for cheaper and more direct air travel for regional residents between major business and tourism centres.

"The launch of a new airline is a massive win for aviation in regional WA, and the upgrade of the Inter-Regional Flight Network is the culmination of a lot of hard work between the State Government and Aviair," says WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.

"We have invested more than $4 million to expand the Inter-Regional Flight Network, and the launch of Nexus Airlines will mean bigger planes, more routes, better services and cheaper airfares for regional Western Australians."

She describes the Karratha-Geraldton route as a "game changer", linking Geraldton businesses and workers to the state's booming mining industry in the Pilbara.

"Customers using the Nexus Airlines Geraldton-Perth route will also have access to our Regional Airfare Zone Cap Scheme, which is making air travel more affordable than ever before for regional residents," she says.

Geraldton MLA Lara Dalton says the announcement is a "huge win" for people in Geraldton and the Mid-West.

"The launch of Nexus Airlines will not only improve the connectivity between the Mid-West and the Pilbara region, but it will also provide a new service between Geraldton and Perth," says Dalton.

"Through regional capped airfares, our Government is making air travel cheaper and more accessible than ever before for communities in and around Geraldton."

Kimberley MLA Divina D'Anna says support for routes like Broome to Derby have been critical to the community, particularly during the recent floods.

"Our Government's expansion of the Inter-Regional Flight Network will see significant improvements to air services in the Kimberley region by providing substantially improved services between Broome and the Pilbara," D'Anna says.

Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel says it is fantastic to see expanded services into the Pilbara, "and for the first time, a direct connection between Geraldton and Karratha".

"The direct route between Karratha and Geraldton will bring significant benefits to both Pilbara and Mid-West businesses," he says.

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