Regional carrier JETGO announced as carrier for Illawarra Regional Airport

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04-Jul-2017 Shellharbour City will soon welcome direct flights to Melbourne and Brisbane thanks to an agreement between Shellharbour City Council and regional jet service provider JETGO. Residents and visitors to the Illawarra, South Coast and Southern Highlands can look forward to a new convenient travel option with the attraction of cost savings in competitive airfares, reduced parking and fuel costs. A local airport service provider will also bring significant savings on time and stress compared with congested travel to Sydney airport. Regular Public Transport (RPT) flights are expected to begin from Illawarra Regional Airport (IRA) in October, subject to final regulatory approval. Initially, there will be nine return flights per week to Melbourne, and six return flights per week to Brisbane. The 850km/h 44-seat Embraer ERJ-140LR regional jet aircraft will offer flight times of 1hr 15 mins to Essendon Airport and 1hr 35 mins to Brisbane. Shellharbour City Mayor Marianne Saliba said Council was thrilled to welcome JETGO to the region. "This announcement represents a significant milestone for our regional community,” Cr Saliba said. “Council recognised the clear desire for better direct air services options to Melbourne and Brisbane and worked hard to deliver this service to our community. “This new service at IRA will provide lower costs, time and stress than travelling to Sydney, which is time consuming and can be challenging for those unaccustomed to heavy traffic. “Our partnership with JETGO will directly link our region to the second and third most populous cities in Australia. “This will provide a significant boost to our regional economy and tourism sector by offering greater connectivity for families, businesses and other services”. “Coupled with planned upgrades to the airport terminal, the facility is set to be a major economic driver for Shellharbour’s future for expanding services within our region. “Now that this partnership with JETGO has been secured, I encourage everyone to ‘get on board’ to ensure the success of the new Melbourne and Brisbane services,” Cr Saliba said.Competitive fares JETGO’s Managing Director Airlines Paul Bredereck said the organisation chose IRA because it was the only major Australian population centre that did not have its own scheduled airline services. “JETGO’s Embraer regional jets are one of the few regional passenger aircraft that could meet the IRA’s requirements. Due to their high performance, they are the ideal aircraft to open up this market,” Mr Bredereck said. JETGO’s website, jetgo.com, would feature special launch offers, and fares that would continue to be competitive. “Fares will be competitive with Qantas and Virgin, starting from $155 one way to both Brisbane and Melbourne, with more than half of all seats available for under $200,” Mr Bredereck said. Tea, coffee, soft drinks, juice and snacks are included in ticket prices. Essendon Airport CEO Chris Cowan said he was delighted JETGO was bringing the Illawarra route to Essendon Airport. “We are the obvious home for regional aviation in Melbourne, with no queues and fast relaxed check in,” Mr Cowan said. “Travellers love the ability to park right out front or catch the free shuttle to Essendon station, and being just 10km from the CBD we even have a tram at our front door. Essendon Airport is located halfway between Tullamarine Airport and Melbourne’s CBD.Aircraft specifications JETGO’s Brazilian manufactured jets are one of the world’s most popular and reliable regional aircraft with over 1000 aircraft in service. They jets are fast and extremely quiet - one of few commercial jet aircraft permitted to operate in and out of Sydney during the curfew. Worldwide, the Embraer Regional Jet fleet has accumulated over 27 million flight hours without a single major accident. These jets operate at altitudes up to 37,000 feet, well above most weather. Because they climb and descend more rapidly, they spend less time in turbulence at lower altitudes.

Source: Shellharbour City Council