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Perth poised to take off

THE advent of ‘new generation’ airliners could provide opportunities for Perth to grow as an airline destination, says aviation industry commentator Tom Ballantyne.

“If Boeing is correct and smaller aircraft with longer legs connecting secondary cities with more point-to-point services is the coming trend, there will be an opportunity for Perth to take advantage,” Mr Ballantyne said.

“Perth’s continued growth will lie in two directions – attracting niche traffic and convincing the international airline alliances that Perth is an attractive proposition as a major spoke from wherever the hub might be.

“The niche traffic will be those airlines not allied with global groupings – the Emirates of the world that aim to ‘cherry-pick’ the best opportunities.”

However, the trend of international airlines joining alliances could hurt Perth.

“Perth is unlikely to be on a priority list for any of the new international airline alliances,” Mr Ballantyne said.

“The vast majority of international flights are direct links with Asia, mostly facilitating onward travel to Europe.

“Where there are direct longer-haul intercontinental flights they are more usually slotted into an airline’s schedule – though not on a daily basis – to cater for Perth traffic on a flight that will ultimately operate on to the east coast or elsewhere,” he said.

“As far as Australasia is concerned, Sydney will be the hub gateway, as it has always been,” he said.

“It is almost certain that Perth will end up at the end of a spoke emanating from Singapore and another shooting out from Sydney.”

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