Regional flight company Aviair will be backed by the Town of Port Hedland to keep planes flying into town for the next five years. The Kimberley-based company has since 2019 operated flights between Broome, Port Hedland, Karratha and Newman. Aviair managing director Michael McConachy said backing from local governments has been essential to the success of the company. “Support from the Town has been really critical in keeping the IRFN service running and we had the opportunity to bring Port Hedland on board during COVID-19,” he said. “The demand is increasing all the time.. as more and more people use the service we can increase the size of the aircraft and that can make it cheaper for people to travel.” Mr McConachy said Aviair was looking to expand and provide more recreational and business travel options. “I’m sure it is going to grow and as people move back to more normal travel habits, I think there is going to be a lot of growth,” he said. “This will open it up to more of the community and create more opportunities to be used for leisure.” Town of Port Hedland Mayor Peter Carter said the flights showed Hedland was open for business and supported industry progress. “From a strategic perspective, increasing air travel options between Port Hedland, Broome, Karratha and Newman will have a positive impact on local businesses,” he said. “The inter-regional flight network increases supply in the regional airline market, aligning with the State Government’s agenda to establish mechanisms which put downward pressure on regional airfare costs. “Aviair will continue to look at opportunities for new flight routes and larger aircraft types to service a higher volume of passengers in the future.” Mr Carter said the Town’s financial support would assistant Hedland residents’ access to choice.