10/12/2020 - 10:00

Virgin Aust cuts regional airfares

10/12/2020 - 10:00

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The state government has welcomed Virgin Australia's move to lower regional airfares, which Premier Mark McGowan says will benefit residents in WA making last-minute bookings.

Virgin's cheaper return fares include Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Port Hedland, Newman and Broome. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

The state government has welcomed Virgin Australia's move to lower regional airfares, which Premier Mark McGowan says will benefit residents in Western Australia making last-minute bookings.

Virgin’s frequent flyer members will be given access to cheaper regional flights to WA, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

That includes return fares between $400 and $750 to Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Port Hedland, Newman and Broome.

Mr McGowan said it was crucial residents in regional WA had access to flexible air travel.

“Initiative like this give people more scope to commute for work, reunite with family and friends, as well as manage their day-to-day affairs without being financially penalised, should they need to travel at short notice,” he said.

“The capped fare pricing makes it fairer and more reasonable for WA regional residents travelling to Perth.”

The lower airfares was an election commitment by the state government, which has promised $24.4 million for regional aviation efforts in WA.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the program would also benefit WA residents flying to Perth for medical appointments.

"This will make a huge difference in providing better links between regional communities and Perth,” she said.

"This is something we have been working hard on together with airlines to establish, and we welcome the great progress that has been made by airlines in offering resident fares on most regional WA air routes.”

The regional airfares program was launched in response to community feedback, Virgin Australia general manager Russell Shaw said.

“We understand residents in our regional communities sometimes need to make last-minute travel plans, but short booking timeframes and demand for these services can mean fares become very expensive, and often the lowest fare types aren’t as flexible if plans change," he said.

The fares will be available to residents who have their Velocity Frequent Flyer address linked to a regional address.

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