Monday, September 16, 2019

India to Perth direct flights a certainty, but locking in an airline proves challenging

The West Australian government can tick Japan-to-Perth direct flights off its wish list, but an Indian equivalent is proving much harder to secure.
The government has set itself the challenge of securing direct Perth flights to Japan, Shanghai and India. The Japan flight landed for the first time on September 1, but meetings between WA Tourism Minister Paul Papalia, Indian airlines and Indian ministers are yet to bear fruit.
India’s oldest private airline, Jet Airways, collapsed in April this year and one of the country’s biggest – the government-controlled and debt-ridden Air India – is up for sale.
“In India, it's a little challenging. We've confronted their elections in the middle of our negotiations,” Mr Papalia said.
“One of the airlines we were talking to collapsed ... it’s a moveable feast but we've talked to about seven airlines in India.
“We've talked to the biggest online tour agents, Make My Trip and we've met the new state minister for civil aviation.”
Mr Papalia said with the increasing flow of Indian visitors to WA that occurred naturally, a direct flight was a certain.
“We will get a flight; it’s the fastest-growing aviation market in the world,” he said.
16/09/19 Hamish Hastie/WAtoday
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