Illawarra jetsetters who plan their trips well in advance can now get their hands on discounted flights to Melbourne and Brisbane.
Fly Corporate – which began regular passenger flights to the two interstate capitals just over a month ago – has introduced early-bird web fares, slashing the price of a one-way trip from $199 to $169.
However, the offer is only available for a limited number of seats and fares must be bought at least 30 days prior to departure.
At present, Fly Corporate offers four fare classes – web deal, discount, saver and flexible – each with varying travel conditions and ranging in price from $199 to $499.
The early-bird special applies to the web deal fare category, is subject to availability and can only be booked directly with Fly Corporate.
Bookings made through a travel agent or online agency may incur additional fees, the company has warned.
The conditions of the fare, including cancellations and name changes, remain unchanged.
Geoff Woodham, Fly Corporate’s sales manager, said the airline allocated an undisclosed number of seats at the cheaper price and once they’re gone the price reverted to the normal web fare.
“We want to … make sure our customers are being looked after, and it gives an incentive to our customers to book in advance,” Mr Woodham said.
“For those customers who are booking last-minute, that’s the risk that they take and they’re going to pay a higher premium if those cheaper fares have all been sold out.”
Mr Woodham said the move wasn’t in response to airline struggling to fill seats on its Wollongong services, which began operating from the Illawarra Regional Airport on November 12.
“It’s an early-bird web fare and it makes good business sense,” he said.
“You've got other operators out there providing different modes of transport with fares probably, I’d say, 20 per cent less than what we’re currently going in.
“If you look at the transportation costs to drive to Brisbane or drive to Melbourne, it’s a no-brainer.”
Mr Woodham said Fly Corporate was “more than happy” with the patronage of its Illawarra services to date.
“Obviously, yes, we’d like to have every flight full but realistically that’s not going to happen with any airline,” he said.
“Some flights, yes, they’re fully-booked, but we’re certainly appreciative of our customers supporting what we’re doing.
“They can tell there is a very big difference between what we do and how we operate compared to other airlines in the past.
“It is all about good old-fashioned customer service but, withstanding that, now it’s also about providing good achievable airfares for a wider select community.”
The early-bird fare is available across Fly Corporate’s entire network.