New flights to start Bali airfare war
Executives from Strategic Airlines are in Perth this week to discuss dates and timings for the Bali service with the travel industry, with the expectation that three-times weekly services will be launched in about June.
Garuda Indonesia, Jetstar, Virgin Blue and Indonesia AirAsia fly to Bali from Perth. Skywest Airlines has indicated that it will also launch flights from Perth this year.
Indonesia AirAsia last year launched its Perth-Bali service with a 5000-seat giveaway.
A Strategic Airlines spokesman would only confirm yesterday that the airline was going to launch Bali services.
The Brisbane-based airline, which launches its Perth to Derby services today with a 180-seat Airbus A320 replacing the failed OzJet service, specialises in military charters for the Australian Defence Force to the Middle East. It plans to add more routes to its Perth operation.
Separately, a number of airlines are increasing services from Perth to North-West centres to meet demand from the resource industry as the Asian region leads the global economic recovery.
Qantas is adding another 168-seat 737-800 to its Perth base, bringing the overall fleet to 11 aircraft, including six 115-seat 717s.
The aircraft will allow the airline to increase its Perth to Karratha return services from 41 to 48 a week, while Perth-Port Hedland will grow from 23 to 25 flights. The airline will boost services to Paraburdoo with its 717s from 19 to 21 a week.
With the additional flights, Qantas will be operating 320 return domestic flights from Perth and 20 return international flights a week.
Skywest Airlines has recently relaunched its Kalgoorlie to Melbourne service and airport sources say the airline will buy a tenth 100-seat Fokker 100 jet to meet demand.
The airline will also take delivery of its first 180-seat A320 in July and that aircraft is expected to be the first of at least four for the airline’s fleet.
There are now more than 100 aircraft either parked overnight or based at Perth Airport.
Source: GEOFFREY THOMAS AVIATION EDITOR, The West Australian