Written on the 4 September 2017


Qantas has announced it will introduce a discounted fares scheme to make it easier for residents in six remote cities in Western Australia to access more affordable air transport.

From November 2017, Qantas will offer a variable discount of up to 30 per cent for residents to travel between their local airport and Perth.*

The discount will apply to the Qantas-controlled component of return fares (which excludes airport charges, security fees and GST) and will be available for personal travel to individuals who reside in Broome, Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Paraburdoo, Port Hedland and Newman.

Qantas has chosen these markets because residents are competing with a very high volume of corporate travel, specifically from the resource industry.
Qantas Domestic CEO Andrew David said the economics of air travel to these communities can be severely impacted by their remoteness, levels of demand and high operating costs.

"We've listened to residents in regional communities around WA and understand their concerns on the cost of travel," said Mr David.

"The reality is that the per kilometre cost on a small aircraft is significantly higher than a larger aircraft that operates between major cities, because the costs are divided by a much higher number of passengers. These regional routes don't have the levels of demand needed to sustain a much larger aircraft and we want to maintain the frequency of services.

"Regardless of the reasons we know the higher relative costs can be frustrating for residents when they need to travel, especially at short notice.

"Providing a discount for residents helps to offset some of these forces that can push fares on some flights to levels that become unaffordable."

The discount will be available on all economy fare classes except for sale fares, for purchase up to and including the day of travel. This means that last minute trips during peak travel times or seasons, which are traditionally more expensive, will be more accessible for residents.

The discounted fares scheme will be run as a 12 month trial, during which Qantas will review the uptake and revenue impact.

"We're optimistic that the discount will stimulate additional demand, which will help us offset some of the cost of the scheme," Mr David added.

To access the discount, residents will need to book a return flight on Qantas. The discounts will only be available for personal travel and will be limited to four return flights a year for each resident.

Qantas is also in discussions with regional Airports and Councils about reducing their airport charges which may enable further savings to be passed on to residents.
"We're pleased Kalgoorlie-Boulder Council has already come on board to reduce Airport passenger charges, which means a greater discount will be available for residents of Kalgoorlie. We're inviting other Airports to follow," said Mr David.

Discounts will vary from between 10-30 per cent, depending on the type of fare purchased. The most flexible (and therefore, higher) the fare, the greater the percentage discount. See table, below for an example.

Full details of the discounted fares scheme for eligible residents, including information on how to book, will be provided in the coming weeks.

The discounted fare scheme will also be implemented in Mount Isa for travel to Townsville and Brisbane, and in Cloncurry for travel to Townsville.

Qantas will continue to run regular sales providing low fares for all customers wanting to travel to and within Western Australia.


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