Singapore trial up, up and away
Broome’s mission to establish a permanent direct international service reached a significant milestone last Thursday, as a Silkair Boeing 737-800 touched down on the Kimberley town from Singapore.
The arrival marked the start of a second set of four trial flights between the two destinations, aimed at testing the viability of the route.
The first trial was held between May and June last year and passengers filled a total of just over 50 per cent of seats.
A second return service was due to land in Broome on Monday, while the final arrivals are due this afternoon and Monday.
The two Singapore trials have marked the tourist town’s first international service since a link with Bali in 2001.
Australia’s North West Tourism chairman Ian Gay said last Thursday was a monumental day for the town and all involved in getting the flights up and going.
“Singapore and Broome are pretty close together so there is a logical airline route that should happen and we are trying to plug that gap so there is a new gateway to Australia,” he said.
“We see it as a great opportunity and I congratulate all those involved to this point.”
Shire of Broome president Harold Tracey was pleased another trial was up and running in the town.
“We are confident the numbers this year are significantly up on last year and we are hoping this will become a regular service because of the benefits it would bring to the town,” he said.
Broome International Airport chief executive Paul McSweeney said the trial had the potential to be a game changer for the Kimberley.
“The performance of the 2019 flights will greatly enhance the probability of converting the flights to regular flights in 2020,” Mr McSweeney said.
“The trial flights continue to perform well and are showing a strong improvement from the 2018 flights.”
This year’s schedule was timed to coincide with popular Broome events including the Staircase to the Moon phenomenon, as well as two Broome Turf Club racing rounds.
The trials have resulted from a partnership between BIA, the Shire of Broome, ANWT and Tourism WA.
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