30 October 2012
Tourism Council WA anticipates fierce competition on WA regional routes following today’s announcement that Virgin will acquire the regional airline Skywest and Tiger Airways. Tourism Council WA believes the takeover is a sign of increased rivalry between Virgin and Qantas in WA.
Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said “greater competition between Qantas and Virgin will keep a lid on WA aviation prices and attract more visitors to regional towns in WA.”
“We would warmly welcome an airfare war, as Qantas and Virgin slug it out over regional WA” said Mr Hall.
Tourism Council WA also believes the combination of Virgin, Skywest and Tiger bodes well for a direct Broome-Singapore service.
“A direct service between Broome and Singapore is a priority in the State Government Tourism Strategy” said Mr Hall “We hope the Virgin-Skywest-Tiger combination kick starts some rivalry to be the first carrier with a Broome-Singapore service.”
The increased interest in regional WA aviation is due to the growth in passengers following the mining boom. This will bring greater competition on many routes, however the Tourism Council WA warns that not all regional routes will benefit.
“Airfare competition will be fierce for flights to regional mining towns, but non-mining towns in the south may not see much change.” said Mr Hall.
“The state government must still take responsibility for ensuring regular and affordable passenger services to smaller non-mining towns’ said Mr Hall.
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