Central Highlands Mayor Cr Kerry Hayes is confident services at the Emerald Airport will continue to meet demand, despite a potential fleet restructure at Virgin Australia.
‘We’ve had terrific throughput at our airport over the last five years, with a peak of over 300 000 passing through in the 2013/14 financial year,’ he said.
‘However with the resources downturn, passenger numbers have obviously stabilised, easing back to about 113 000 for the first six months of this financial year.
‘As with any business, it’s all about supply and demand. It’s therefore inevitable, and understandable, that Virgin would explore consolidating some of their services and strategic partnerships with other airlines to ensure they can maintain their presence here in Emerald.
‘We’re expecting a change, but certainly not a total withdrawal of their services.’
Qantas, Virgin Australia and Alliance currently operate about 65 flights a week at the Emerald Airport.
‘Even under new arrangements, we would still expect between three and five services a day which would be very good access for our airport,’ the mayor said.