A trial of direct flights between Melbourne and Kununurra will start in May 2020 and run for the peak tourism season between May and August.
The service will include three return flights per week with flights expected to be approximately 4 hours each way.
Alliance Airlines who specialise in tailored flights for the resources industry will be providing the service in a code share arrangement with Virgin Australia.
The airline will be using their Fokker 70 aircraft which seat up to 80 passengers (Pictured above).
The direct flights from Melbourne to Kununurra will save a stopover in Perth or Darwin and cut 5 to 10 hours off of the overall travel time each way depending on your route.
This new service should be a big boost for tourism to the East Kimberley and destinations like:
- Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungle Range)
- Lake Argyle
- The Gibb River Road
- El Questro Wilderness Park
- Home Valley Station
- Northern Kimberley coast
Shorter ‘getaways’ to the East Kimberley become more realistic when you don’t have to devote a full day at either end of the trip getting there and back.
You could have breakfast at a Melbourne Café and enjoy a cold drink while watching the sunset over Lake Argyle the same day!
Likewise for East Kimberley locals, being able to jump on a plane and be in Melbourne later the same day will open up more options for attending major sporting events or family occasions as well as connecting to east bound international flights out of Melbourne.
In an interview with ABC News, Dylan Lodge of Triple J Tours in Kununurra said that when choosing Melbourne over Sydney one thing that Melbourne had going for it was it being 'the sporting capital of Australia, if not the world’.
With AFL footy season in full swing between May and August it will be a great opportunity for East Kimberley locals to fly down to Melbourne for a few days and catch a game or two of AFL footy at the MCG or Marvel Stadium.
Tickets will be available through the Virgin Australia website and are expected to be available soon.
Want some inspiration?
Check out this video I made recently for the Lake Argyle Resort & Caravan Park (www.lakeargyle.com)
- Where to stay and what to do at Lake Argyle
- Steve & Buddy's Big Adventure
- 6 places you need to explore on the Gibb River Road