Newcastle Airport News
Date Posted: 27/1/2018
The direct flight connecting Adelaide with Newcastle is set to cease operation from the 26 April 2019, with FlyPelican advising Newcastle Airport that the route was no longer proving to be viable for the regional airline carrier.
Newcastle Airport only welcomed these direct flights nine months ago with the first service operating for the first time on 22 March 2018. At the time of the inaugural flight between these two destinations the FlyPelican CEO, Paul Graham said “forward bookings have been encouraging and we plan to increase frequency as demand grows” but unfortunately the flight only remained operating up to four times each week.
FlyPelican had partnered with Alliance Airlines who would operate the two hour flight utilizing the carriers Fokker F100 aircraft. Since the route began over 10,000 passengers took advantage of this direct connection with the South Australian capital, each flight offered complimentary cheeked in baggage and inflight catering. The flight was a much needed service, which offered great connection opportunities in South Australia, fares were often found on the FlyPelican site for $179.
“While it’s disappointing that the venture did not prove viable for FlyPelican, the airport [is] currently in discussions with other carriers to consider this route.” said Peter Cock, Newcastle Airport CEO.
If another carrier were to take up the route I suspect it would have to be either Jetstar or Virgin Australia, but in saying that I would love to see QantasLink operate this route also. Jetstar could operate the route utilising its fleet of Airbus A320’s, passengers would then need to purchase food and luggage as opposed to FlyPelican’s offering. Virgin Australia could also operate the route with its fleet of Boeing 737’s or Fokker F100 aircraft, it will be a matter of just watching this space and waiting for a future announcement.
Virgin Australia has recently commenced the airport first international service, operating direct flights between Newcastle and Auckland.
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In November Newcastle Airport reported the highest number of passengers with more than 114,082 people choosing the fly through Newcastle up 2.5% on the previous year.
The addition of the Adelaide to Newcastle route was the commencement of the first new major domestic route from Newcastle Airport since the introduction of direct flights to the Gold Coast in 2004.
FlyPelican will continue to operate flights to Dubbo, Canberra and Ballina from Newcastle. Customers who have booked flights on the Adelaide route post 26 April 2019 will be contacted by FlyPelican.
“As a regional carrier, we have always been prepared to make brave decisions and play a leadership role in our country. The direct service between Newcastle and Adelaide was a perfect example and enabled us to provide a valued service to many thousands of people.” said FlyPelican XCEO Paul Graham.