Added air service welcomed

Caitlyn WattsPilbara News
Aviair.
Camera IconAviair. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr.

Karratha residents are set to access direct flights to the Pilbara town of Paraburdoo in little over an hour after the airline rolling out an intraregional northern flight network announced an expansion to its service.

Aviair has announced it will connect Karratha and Paraburdoo from March 4, with an expected flight time of just 65 minutes.

It will be the latest leg to be added to a series of services connecting the Pilbara and Kimberley, with Karratha to Port Hedland, Newman and Broome, and Newman to Port Hedland routes having operated since August.

Aviair managing director Michael McConachy said the network was growing in popularity and was a time and cost-effective alternative to existing travel options of flights via Perth.

“We are pleased with the way the service has started, and those using the network are coming back time and time again,” he said. 2020 is already off to a great start as potential users increasingly discover the service and the benefits it brings to both businesses and individuals.”

Mr McConachy said Rio Tinto would be providing financial sponsorship for the new route.

“The fares are highly competitive with other existing travel options in the region and this has been made possible due to the support of the network sponsors including the City of Karratha and Shire of East Pilbara, and now Rio Tinto,” he said.

“Whilst Rio Tinto expect to use the service, they have been very supportive of contributing to the Pilbara region and the communities they operate in.”

Rio Tinto port, rail and core managing director Ivan Vella said he was proud to support the airline in opening up the Pilbara region further.

“This new service will make it safer and easier for members of our workforce and their families to travel between inland Pilbara and Karratha when required,” he said.

“We are also looking forward to the employment and local business opportunities that will be unlocked by this service and the benefits that will deliver for local communities.”

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said great support had been shown in getting inter-regional flights off the ground.

“The expansion of this network to include Paraburdoo adds to the already increased flight options available to residents, visitors and businesses in and out of Karratha Airport,” he said.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails