Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Call for Intervention on Regional Airfares

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Call for Intervention on Regional Airfares

Article excerpt

Byline: Michelle Gately

ROCKHAMPTON Regional Council has called for government intervention in specific route fares and creation of new flight paths in a submission to the senate's regional aviation inquiry.

The submission from Rockhampton Airport was endorsed by councillors at the first general meeting of the year on Tuesday and concludes that government subsidies and regulation will be needed in the future to help regional areas compete with their metropolitan counterparts.

The submission reflected on the service reductions and schedule adjustments at Rockhampton Airport that have led to "capacity squeeze", especially on the Brisbane to Rockhampton route.

This, along with congestion at Brisbane Airport is creating "extreme airfare price pressure at short notice or peak period travel times" for Central Queenslanders.

"Airfares are peaking in excess of $570 one way occurring during periods of high demand and it must be noted that airfares during sale periods can average $99 one way," the submission states.

"While from an airline perspective current yield and route performance is strong, the cost of airfares at the higher end of the pricing fare ladder, are creating negative social and economic impacts to the region's community."

Morning Bulletin readers expressed their concern over the price of fares on Facebook.

JA Passmore, who flies between Moranbah and Brisbane every 10 days, wrote there were no discounts because flights were full on that route.

"Moranbah to Brisbane still costs over $600 one way, that is more than three times the cost of Rockhampton to Brisbane," they said.

Catherine Smith said without the patient travel subsidy helping her travel from Emerald to Brisbane she would be dead.

"No way I could afford flights every three months to Brisbane," she said. …

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