Jetstar has set a date for next year’s launch of the first trans-continental flights to Lonely Planet’s top Asia-Pacific destination for 2020, Western Australia’s Margaret River region
The low-cost carrier Friday announced Friday the three-times-weekly Airbus A320 service between Victorian capital Melbourne and West Australian regional center Bussleton would start March 25 with launch fares of $89 one-way.
Jetstar chief executive Gareth Evans predicted a good response to the new service, which is forecast to contribute more than $40 million to WA economy over the next three years.
Busselton is about 50kms from Margaret River and is seen as the gateway to the region’s natural attractions and wineries.
The flights will operate Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, departing Melbourne at 8 am and Busselton at 9:40 am during daylight saving in Victoria.
The new flight is the result of two years of negotiations and is heavily subsidized, according to The West Australian newspaper.
The announcement also comes as Qantas is seeing continued weakness in the price-sensitive domestic leisure market.
The Margaret River region is home to more than 200 wineries as well as craft beer, olive oil, chocolate bread and seafood.
“With its world-class surf breaks and incredible food and wine, a visit to the region is on the travel wish lists of many travelers,’’ Evans said.
“Direct flights from Melbourne will save east coast customers the three-hour drive from Perth, putting the destination within easy reach for a short break away.
“And for residents in the South-West, it will open up the possibility of a mini-break on the east coast with direct access to the sports, culture and extensive shopping on offer in Melbourne.”
Evans acknowledged the help of the federal and state governments as well as the Busselton City Council in setting up the service.