Regional West Australian airline Skywest has leased an extra Airbus A320 and intends to buy a Fokker 100 to keep up with Western Australian demand for business travel. The airline has also released further details of its tie-up with Virgin Australia, plus additional routes from Geraldton.
First up are additional aircraft, including an extra Airbus A320. Skywest's existing 162-seat A320 is frequently used for fly-in fly-out mining company work. So business travellers in the resources sector are likely to see additional services and more airliner-style comfort on high-demand routes when the new plane arrives this August.
A further Fokker 100 jet, seating just over 100 passengers, is also on tentative order. The airline already has nine of the small 1990s-era jets in its fleet.
Virgin Australia tie-up details
As Australian Business Traveller recently reported, Skywest entered into a partnership with Virgin Australia for West Australia regional flying. It's a remarkably lucrative market, and Skywest plans to use new ATR-72 turboprop planes in the Virgin Australia paint scheme.
The first ATR will arrive in June, and be operating commercial flights by the end of August if all goes according to plan.
And, of course, Virgin Australia's Velocity Rewards frequent flyer programme members will continue to earn points on Skywest flights.
New Geraldton flights
West Australian resources sector hub Geraldton will see extra flights, to Denpasar internationally and to Melbourne and the Pilbara within Australia. The new flights will start later this winter.
About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.