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Thursday 1 August 2019

Melbourne flights open up the remote Kimberley region

Western Australia’s remote Kimberley region has become much more more accessible as tickets for direct flights between Melbourne and Kununurra are released for sale today.

Ord River: Tourism WA 
The new flights provide a valuable link between the east coast of Australia and the East Kimberley, home to some of the world’s most extraordinary natural attractions.

The first-ever scheduled air service between the destinations will commence May 15, 2020 with tickets on sale from as low as $399 all-inclusive each way for economy class, with business class seats also available on each flight.

The flights are timed to offer seamless connections in Melbourne across the Virgin Australia network and will open up access for both domestic and international travellers to destinations such as the World Heritage-listed Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungle), Mitchell River National Park, Lake Argyle and the Ord River (above), the famous Gibb River Road, El Questro, Home Valley Station and the northern Kimberley coastline.

The Kimberley is one of the world’s last true wilderness areas, rich in Aboriginal culture and this new service will be ideal for those looking for a short break with many options available for quality accommodation, car rental and tour packages.

A number of the available seats have already been pre-purchased by major tour operator, APT, who will be using the seats to cater to their Kimberley cruise and land touring passengers.

The flights have been made possible by the extended planning and research undertaken by East Kimberley Marketing Group, and the financial support of the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley, the tourism and business community, the Kimberley Development Commission and Tourism Western Australia.

East Kimberley Marketing Group chair Michael McConachy said: “It is an exciting time for tourism in the Kimberley, with the direct flights opening up the region to the eastern states in a way which has never been possible before. 

"The direct air service will offer a time and cost-efficient option for travellers to the region and is the culmination of three years hard work by the stakeholders.”

Shire president David Menzel said: “This new air access into Kununurra and the East Kimberley is something that the Community can be very proud of.  The air service is likely to create a new market of fly-in visitors to the region whilst making Kununurra an even better place to live.”

The service will be operated by Alliance Airlines Fokker 70 aircraft, with seats sold via Virgin Australia. 

The aircraft seats eight passengers in business class and 65 in economy class. Flights will run three-times weekly between May and August 2020, departing Melbourne on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and departing Kununurra on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. 

This period captures the tourism season in the Kimberley.

Tickets are now available through the Virgin Australia website or via travel agents.

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