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Air services step up as roads close


Photo contributed

Tricia Duffield


Air Link is working with the Far North West Joint Organisation of Councils (JO) to provide additional flights to Walgett and Lightning Ridge in response to the current flooding and isolation.

Air Link has added extra flights to its timetable and has also included flights to Brewarrina for the first time as it responds to the emerging flood crisis.

Matt Kline, Air Link director and co-CEO said the airline was poised to assist communities in its service area as the situation evolved and said circumstances were changing ‘daily’.

“We have increased the scheduled services from Dubbo to Walgett and Lightning Ridge from three flights a week to five with the support of the Joint Organisation of Councils,” Mr Kline said.

At the moment there is a backlog of about 30 passengers booked and waiting for flights which is why we have increased the number of services to help those communities.

“We are also bringing in charters to fly in emergency services leaving from Bankstown airport into Walgett, Brewarrina and other locations as the need arises.

“Air Link responded to a request from Brewarrina Council General Manager David Kirby to open a service into Brewarrina as road transport is not an option due to the flooding.

“That service will operate as a charter service arrangement between Air Link and Bre Council and people can buy tickets through our office through to Dubbo.

“It’s not part of our scheduled service so people won’t be able to book online, but they can contact our office.

The Air Link flight which leaves from Dubbo to Bourke will then be chartered onto Bre and then the reverse will operate for the return flights - people can fly from Bre to Bourke and then on to Dubbo.

“A lot of our passengers are locals who need transport in and out of the region, but there are also a lot of emergency workers that we are flying in and out on both the scheduled and the charter services,” Mr Kline said.

“The situation is changing daily and although at this stage we are not involved in flying in supplies, we are able to assist in that area if required.”

As well as providing air support for communities and emergency workers, Air Link also operates an aeromedical service in regional NSW through the sister company Airmed, but the flooding emergency there posed another set of challenges.

“The airports are busy providing emergency services and with the flooding in Moree, that airport is pretty congested,” Mr Kline said.

“At this stage though, none of our airports are at risk of inundation.”


Local residents are eligible for the Air Link community airfare of $150 and can book tickets on 68842 435 or email ops@airlinkairlines.com.au

For up-to-date information about flight times and services, go to airlinkairlines.com.au



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