Pilbara Airlines to begin direct South-East Asia flights

Daneka HillNorth West Telegraph
The bay of Singapore, one of the locations which will soon be linked direct to Hedland.
Camera IconThe bay of Singapore, one of the locations which will soon be linked direct to Hedland. Credit: Cherie Catherall

The newly-established Pilbara Airlines is now officially taking bookings for trips flying direct from Hedland to South-East Asia.

The company announced earlier today that residents of the region could now book direct return fares from the Pilbara to popular tourist hotspots this December, including Singapore, Manila and Ho Chi Minh.

Tickets for the direct flights can only be purchased through South Hedland-based agent Grab Travel, starting from today.

Pilbara Airlines owner Peter Carter, who also owns Grab Travel, said the destinations were specifically chosen based on demand.

“There are a lot of fly-in fly-out workers from Manila,” he said.

“Vietnam is the hottest tourist destinations for Australia, Singapore is the biggest hub in the world if you want to go anywhere.”

The first flight is set to take off on December 2 this year and will be an 11am flight to Singapore.

Vietnam flights will be run on Monday and Tuesday, Singapore flights Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and on Saturdays the plane will go to Manila.

Mr Carter, who is also a Town of Port Hedland councillor and Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce president, said the airline had made its way into existence without any major corporate backing.

“It’s basically all our own funding, we’ve had no government support, no government funding, no council funding, no chamber of commerce funding, nothing at all,” he said.

Mr Carter said Grab Travel was focusing on securing a plane to run daily flights to Perth at 6am with a returning flight at 4pm.

Residents currently travelling to Perth on one-day trips for work or doctor’s appointments must catch a 9am flight, which gets into Perth at 11am and be back on a Hedland-bound plane by 3pm.

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