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East coast gets first-ever Kimberley gateway flights

Melbourne-Kununurra service confirmed

Travel to one of Australia’s most beautiful regions, The Kimberley, is about to become even more enticing for many Aussies, with the introduction of seasonal nonstop flights between Melbourne and Kununurra.


The aircraft (Image Alliance Airlines)


The first direct link between the Victorian capital and the gateway to the eastern Kimberley, the new flights were announced by The East Kimberley Marketing Group, with the support of the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley and operator Alliance Airlines. 


To commence in May 2020, the trial air service will include three return flights per week utilising Alliance’s 80-seater Fokker 70 aircraft, and most significantly, remove the need to connect through Perth, Darwin, or Broome to reach the region. 


With flights to operate under a codeshare agreement with Virgin Australia, the new service will be available to book through the VA website in the coming weeks. 


“The air service has been made possible through the continued and collaborative efforts of all of the key stakeholders, including local and state government, and the local tourism and business community, and it will be a game-changer for our region,” East Kimberley Marketing Group chair Michael McConachy said.


Diversion Bridge (Image Tourism WA)


Operating from May to August 2020, the flights open up access to Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungle), El Questro Wilderness Park, Lake Argyle, the Gibb River Road and the northern-Kimberley coast as well as events such as the Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster. 


“The new air service will play a key role in attracting more tourists to the East Kimberley, driving economic growth to the region. It’s also expected to increase and create new business opportunities,” Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley president David Menzel said.


The service has been supported by APT, who will pre-purchase a “substantial number” of the available seats.


In a further boost to tourism to the region, Tourism Western Australia has committed $250000 to an east coast marketing campaign. 


Fine Diamonds Dinner (Image Ben Broady)


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 27 May 2019

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