WA’s North West aviation landscape shifted on Monday morning when Nexus Airlines took to the skies for its inaugural flights, departing from Geraldton for Broome, adding competition to the local market. The airline’s first-ever flight took off from Geraldton Airport on Monday morning, destined for Karratha, then heading to Port Hedland before its final destination in Broome. A traditional smoking ceremony was held before take-off to mark the significance of the flight, as well as to cleanse the plane and crew before departure. Based in Geraldton and Broome, the airline is equipped with a fleet of 76-seat Dash8 400 aircraft, which is suited to fly in WA’s unpredictable weather conditions. It is the first new regional airline in WA in two decades and will create easier access for local residents to go between cities and towns without having to stop at Perth. The commercial flight used the inter-regional flight network, which connects Geraldton, Karratha, Port Hedland and Broome. While the inaugural flights on the northern network launched on Monday, Nexus’ daily flights between Geraldton and Perth do not start flying until next week, July 17, with plans for a full schedule to be reached in the next few months. Kununurra and Darwin will be added to its network from July 28. Nexus managing director Michael McConachy said the company’s first flight was an important milestone for the regions. “Today is a very special day and marks years of hard work by a team of very dedicated professionals,” he said. “I am thrilled to see Nexus Airlines take to the skies and cannot be prouder of everyone who has been working around the clock to make this happen. “Our goal was to improve regional air connectivity and from today that is happening. “Residents and local businesses will have the opportunity to travel directly to their regional destinations without the need to commute through Perth, which will save valuable time and money.” North West Tourism marketing and communications executive Claire Wilson said the airline would be a boost for local businesses across the State. “In many ways, the addition of another airline connection to our major regional centres is a huge benefit to local businesses and tourism operators who depend on visitation for their livelihood” she said.