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Regional West Australians show no signs of slowing down as Regional Airfare Zone Cap scheme hits milestone

Headshot of Madeleine Clark
Madeleine ClarkKalgoorlie Miner
The Regional Airfare Zone Cap scheme has been a big success in helping ease cost-of-living pressures by capping the total airfare amount regional residents pay for flights to and from Perth.
Camera IconThe Regional Airfare Zone Cap scheme has been a big success in helping ease cost-of-living pressures by capping the total airfare amount regional residents pay for flights to and from Perth. Credit: Amber Lilley/Kalgoorlie Miner

With 200,000 discounted airfares now flown since the scheme’s inception, the WA Government is flying high on the Regional Airfare Zone Cap’s success.

The Kalgoorlie-Perth route remained in second place, behind the popular Karratha-Perth route, with total airfares to date at 28,445, and 7841 airfares between July and September.

This is almost 2000 more airfares than the previous quarter which saw 5967 bought for the route.

Established in July 2022, the scheme is the first of its kind in Australia and has been a major success, helping ease cost-of-living pressures by capping the total airfare amount regional residents pay for flights to and from Perth.

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In the most recent quarter, more than 50,000 capped airfares were used, representing a 17.8 per cent increase from the previous quarter, and the highest number of airfares used during any quarter in the history of the scheme.

Karratha residents used the biggest number of capped airfares in the latest quarter — 12,239.

The next five most popular routes were Kalgoorlie-Boulder with 7841, Broome with 6653, Port Hedland with 6499, Paraburdoo with 3220, and Esperance with 3129.

That pattern continues for the overall number of fares flown through the scheme.

About a quarter — 50,317 — of the capped airfares were flown on the Karratha-Perth route, followed by Kalgoorlie with 28,445, Port Hedland with 26,589, and Broome with 23,380.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said reaching the 200,000 milestone showed how important the scheme was for regional West Australians.

“Our Government knows how cost-prohibitive flying can be for regional residents but this scheme is giving people peace of mind that if they need to fly to Perth at short notice, they won’t be up for thousands of dollars,” she said.

“Since the introduction of the scheme we’ve heard so many positive stories about families being better connected — including grandparents flying to see new grandchildren and people being able to travel to see sick relatives.

“With a State as vast as ours, air travel is a necessary form of transport for many regional residents and is often the only way they can get to Perth for specialist medical appointments and important family occasions.

“The strong support for these airfares is helping to drive record demand on a number of regional routes, which helps us attract and retain reliable and affordable air services.”

The scheme is delivered in partnership with six participating airlines — Airnorth, Rex, Nexus, Skippers Aviation, Qantas and Virgin Australia — to provide regional residents with access to capped airfares to Perth for either $199 or $299 one-way, when booked as a return fare for personal travel.

The Cook Government has committed to running the scheme over three years to June 2025.

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