Cheaper flights could soon be on the cards for Mt Isa, Cloncurry and Weipa, with the state government yesterday announcing two air routes in the northern mining regions will be opened up for competition.
The two routes which will no longer be regulated are:
- Cairns to Weipa with 17 return flights per week with 70,000 passengers a year
- Townsville to Mt Isa, via Cloncurry with five return flights with 7000* passengers a year
Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the review of long-distance passenger services also ensures funding to maintain regional Queensland routes to smaller country towns.
“From 2015, when the existing contracts end, these routes will be opened up to commercial competition so the market can set the best price and service levels. All other routes will go out to tender.
“We’ll continue to monitor patronage on these routes with the option to re-regulate if we feel the airlines aren’t delivering for regional communities.”
“The patronage driven by the resources sector across the state means there is an opportunity for other airlines to compete on some routes,” Mr Emerson said.
“The long-distance passenger transport review canvassed views of regional communities, including local government, resulting in 7200 responses, of which 3400 were air passengers.”
The government will continue to regulate and offer contracts for routes between:
- Brisbane-Toowoomba-St George-Cunnamulla-Thargomindah
Charleville-Quilpie-Windorah- Birdsville-Bedourie-Boulia- Mount Isa
- Cairns-Normanton-Mornington Island-Burketown-Doomadgee-
Julia Creek-Mt Isa