Passengers can’t wait to take flight on the new Fly Corporate service from the Illawarra Regional Airport.
The new provider of passenger services will reintroduce flights to and from Brisbane and Melbourne on November 12.
Fly Corporate won the bid to run regular services after the rapid collapse of former operator JetGo earlier this year.
Fly Corporate sales manager Geoff Woodham said tickets were flying out the door for the company’s Saab 340B Plus service, a 34-seat twin turboprop aircraft.
“Fly Corporate is very excited to be able to connect passengers in Albion Park to Melbourne and Brisbane,” he said.
“The forward flight bookings are increasing.
“Fly Corporate is pleasantly surprised with the positive response to the service and the uptake in bookings.
“We look forward to growing the number of routes in the long term.”
The air service provider officially launched the new service at a function at the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society Aviation Museum on Thursday night.
Initially Fly Corporate will schedule 18 flights on the popular Melbourne route each week, and eight flights on the Brisbane route. Ticket prices start from $199 one-way.
Mr Woodham said the company was now a Shellharbour City Business Chamber member.
“We will make the business work,” he said. “We want to attract a cross-section of business people and the retail public – those visiting friends and family.
“We will provide mums and dads who want to visit their family with an easy service out of the Illawarra.”
Mr Woodham said the service to and from Melbourne and Brisbane would “open up the Illawarra” and would bring tourists to the region.
He said “good old-fashioned customer service” would set Fly Corporate flights apart from other airline services.
“We also have an outstanding in-flight crew and service on board,” he said. “We might be a small organisation in the regional air provider industry but we are a mover and shaker.”
Fly Corporate also own their own aircrafts rather than leasing them.
The Mayor said Council looked forward to working closely with Fly Corporate to ensure the successful reintroduction of services to Melbourne and Brisbane from Illawarra Regional Airport.
“This an exciting time for our community and for the wider region. It will be wonderful to have flights to and from Melbourne and Brisbane in our city once again,” Cr Saliba said.
“Corporate Air, which operates the Fly Corporate services, has been in business since 1972 and has demonstrated they have the experience and financial capacity to provide regular passenger services,” she said.
Flights from the Illawarra Regional Airport
Commencing Monday, November 12, morning flights will depart Wollongong at 6.15am with an 8am arrival in Melbourne. The return service will depart Melbourne at 8.35am and arrive in Wollongong at 10.10am.
Afternoon flights will depart Wollongong at 1.55pm with a 3.40pm arrival in Melbourne. The return service will depart Melbourne at 4.15pm and arrive in Wollongong at 6pm.
Additionally, from November 12, eight weekly services between Wollongong and Brisbane will also be offered, operating on a Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Ticket prices start from $199 one-way
Online deals can now be accessed, with flights from $199 one-way. There’s also a ‘discount’ ticket of $299; a ‘saver’ ticket for $389 and ‘flexible’ ticket – which is fully refundable before the scheduled departure time – for $499.