Air links put Dubbo on west’s radar

Making ground: Dubbo City Regional Airport has broken through the 200,000 annual passenger mark with some help from the wider western region. File photo. Dubbo is becoming a departure point of choice for a growing number of people flying interstate from western NSW, its council says.
Nanjing Night Net

The city’s airport has attracted passengers making the most of direct flights to Melbourne and Brisbane that started in the past year, Western Plains Regional Council reports.

Dubbo City Regional Airport set a record for passenger numbers in the past 12 months and it was attractive to travellers from Orange, Parkes and other towns in the wider Orana region, as well as those from the immediate area, the council reported.

Airport operations manager Lindsay Mason said they were seeing people choosing to board at Dubbo because they could fly directly to other states, rather than from their local airports.

One man from West Wyalong had driven to Dubbo to catch a direct flight to Brisbane about four months ago, Mr Mason said.

“He said he preferred to come to Dubbo, as he had to drive to Wagga to wait and catch a flight to Sydney, and then wait in Sydney for the flight to Brisbane,” he said.

“He told me he just preferred to drive to Dubbo and fly direct.”

Two businessmen from 200 kilometres south-east of Dubbo were lately changing their travel habits.

The pair was based at Bathurst – halfway between Dubbo and Sydney, Mr Mason said.

“(They would) normally drive to Sydney once a fortnight to catch a flight to Brisbane, but now prefer to drive to Dubbo,” he said.

“There’s heavy traffic to Sydney, but it’s only 2.5 hours to Dubbo.

“They think it’s a no-brainer.”

Dubbo’s airport broke through the 200,000 annual passenger mark for the first time in 2015-2016, the council reported recently.

The past 12 months has seen the number of ports that can be directly accessed from Dubbo rise to six.

Airline Jetgo began direct Dubbo-Brisbane return flights in July last year and added a Dubbo-Melbourne route in October,

On Monday the first flight of FlyPelican’s Dubbo-Newcastle service landed.

In 2015-2016 there was a 7.6 per cent rise in passenger numbers compared with the previous year.

The highest monthly total was recorded in March when 18,107 passengers went through Dubbo’s airport.

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