A spectacular water cannon salute greeted the inaugural FlyPelican service direct from Newcastle as it arrived in Canberra this morning.
Canberra Airport Managing Director Stephen Byron welcomed the return of direct flights between the two cities.
“For almost a decade from 2003 until Brindabella Airlines went into receivership in December 2013, there were regular scheduled flights between Canberra and Newcastle.
“The demise of Brindabella had nothing to do with the popularity of that route with the strong defence and industry presence in both locations. For the past 18 months people have been hubbing through Sydney, driving or catching the train – all of which takes far, far longer with a lot of unproductive time.
“So, it is fantastic that will now be a thing of the past and it won’t just be for business travellers. Canberrans looking for a trip to the beach or the Hunter Valley, and Novocastrians looking to venture to the snow, for example, now have a much more convenient way to travel,” Mr Byron said.
FlyPelican also operates a regular Newcastle to Sydney service, and a Sydney-Mudgee service. The NTL-CBR route will be serviced by FlyPelican’s British Aerospace Jetstream 32, 19 seater aircraft (there are two in the fleet at this stage), with a morning and afternoon service between the two cities from Monday to Friday and an additional weekend service on Sunday afternoons.
FlyPelican CEO Paul Graham said he was thrilled to be restoring air links between Canberra and Newcastle.
“This is critical for pairing the two cities, which have been without a direct service for 18 months, and we’ve worked hard during the past year to gain our regular public transport air operators certificate.
“Today is a milestone in achieving those results and I’d like to thank Canberra Airport for the support that has been provided to us in getting this service underway again.”
Mr Graham said FlyPelican anticipated increasing capacity as demand increased.
Bookings can be made on the airline’s website www.flypelican.com.au with fares starting at $149 one way.
Media inquiries: Jane Seaborn 0414 829 282