Mayor demands action on airfares

Robert DoughertyNorth West Telegraph

The Town of Port Hedland Mayor has weighed in on the Senate inquiry into regional aviation services, urging the Federal Government to take action to bring down airfares.

The investigation into the regulation of regional air services has received more than 120 submissions from individuals and groups such as the WA Government, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Virgin Australia and airports.

Town of Port Hedland Mayor Camilo Blanco said he urged the Federal Government to take action on high regional airfare prices negatively impacting regional WA.

“The social cost of highly priced airfares continues to have a significant impact on our community,” he said.

Submissions to the inquiry closed earlier this month however the Senate report due on September 20 this year could highlight airline carriers using a market monopoly, with limited incentive to lower fares to retail customers.

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“Local Governments have limited capacity to influence air carrier decisions directly,” Mr Blanco said. “Therefore, we urge the Federal Government to take action and ensure a local airline market which delivers lower costs, more transparency and greater choice.” In its submission to the Federal inquiry into air travel, Virgin said carriers would inevitably look to withdraw services if costs outweighed revenue for an extended period.

“As with all routes we serve, the sustainability of our regional services relies heavily on our ability to match the capacity we deploy with the demand for our flights, as well as the effective management of costs.”

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