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Aust's newest airline takes first flight before 2021 launch

Operator predicts new approach to local air travel

Flying from Sydney to Canberra, Australia’s newest airline took its first demonstration flight today. 


Set to initially fly from Sydney Harbour to Palm Beach, Newcastle and Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin, Alt Air will commence scheduled flights to more than 10 regional NSW destinations from early in the second half of 2021. 


Alt Air over Canberra


Other locations including Port Stephens, Gosford, Hunter Valley, Lake Macquarie, Wollongong, Jervis Bay, Batemans Bay, Narooma, Lake Jindabyne and the Central West are expected to be added gradually from 2022. 


It is anticipated Alt Air services will cut up to four hours travel time for a return trip to Canberra, thanks to “convenient take-off and landing locations combined with onboarding and disembarkation timeframes of approximately 10 minutes each”. 


The new carrier will operate five return flights between Sydney and Canberra, with three services planned on weekdays and two on weekends.


“In places like Vancouver or Seattle, seaplanes are a central component of the transport system, not just for tourism,” said Aaron Shaw, CEO of Alt Air and Sydney Seaplanes, which will operate the service.


“In New South Wales we are blessed with an extraordinary wide range of inland waterways, harbours and lakes, all perfect for seaplanes and because our modern fleet is amphibious, we can also fly to any number of inland destinations west of the Blue Mountains.”


“Alt Air offers the best of all worlds. Our pricing will compete strongly with conventional aviation, but we’ll radically reduce journey times and the hassles of a conventional flying experience.”


Alt Air will operate 15 seat Twin Otters and 12 seat Cessna Caravans on its routes, with its five-plane fleet expected to double by the first half of 2022.


Sydney Seaplanes recently inked a deal with electric plane engine maker, magniX, and says it is seeking approval to become Australia’s “and potentially the world’s, first fully electric, nil-emissions commercial airline”.  


Alt Air’s name is derived from its “alternative” approach to air travel, which it says will be green, quiet, fast, convenient and affordable. 


Image Rex


In other aviation news, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has approved Rex’s application for Regular Public Transport (RPT) services using the Boeing 737-800NG on its existing network. 


Rex’s new High Capacity Air Operator’s Certificate (HCAOC) clears the way for Rex to begin flying between Sydney and Melbourne from 1 March 2021, and other major cities thereafter.


To mark the event, Rex is offering 100,000 tickets at $79 on its nine daily return flights between the NSW and Victoria capitals. 


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 16 December 2020

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