After years of calls for cheaper airfares for Goldfields locals, the State Government has taken decisive action and will cap regional airfares at $199 one-way for Kalgoorlie-Boulder residents who buy return tickets. Premier Mark McGowan visited Kalgoorlie-Boulder recently with Transport Minister Rita Saffioti to announce the three-year trial that will see Kalgoorlie-Boulder residents not pay more than $398 for a return flight to Perth.
The arrangement comes off the back of a 2017 State Government inquiry into regional airfares, and a 2020 draft State Aviation Strategy that warned the government could intervene if airlines did not keep prices in check. With the cap forming part of Labor WA’s election campaign last year, the rollout is now the biggest move to combat the high price of regional WA airfares to date.
Mr McGowan said his Government was the first in the country to implement this type of airfare subsidy, which meant there would be both certainty and affordability for regional residents.
“We’ve known it’s been a big issue for many decades, and we’re the first government to do something significant about it,” he said.
“This program will mean that there are now more affordable airfares for people who live in regional WA. Wherever you are across the State, if you’re using regular air services, this arrangement will be in place.”
Regional residents can still access sale or lower fares below the cap prices if the airlines offer cheaper fares.