Regional Express (Rex) subsidiary Air Link, will offer regular commercial passenger flights to Cobar commencing at the end of the month.
Air Link Chief Operating Officer David Brooksby confirmed on Monday that it will be offering Regular Public Transport (RPT) air services between Cobar and Dubbo which will connect with Rex and Air Link services to Sydney.
“Air Link is pleased to be able to re-establish RPT services to Cobar with the strong support of CSA Mine,” Mr Brooksby said.
Cobar has been without an RPT air service since Brindabella Airlines went into receivership in December 2013.
Cobar Shire Council and local stakeholders immediately began working to recruit a new air service and met with representatives from Connect Jet and Rex Airlines in January 2014.
In February 2014, Rex announced it would not be applying for the Sydney to Cobar air route licence saying that it was a “significant commercial risk” and they “doubted the viability of the route”.
In March 2014 Rex announced it had lodged an expression of interest with Transport for NSW for the Cobar and Mudgee routes however it did not come to fruition.
Mr Brooksby said CSA Mine had been proactive in helping to re-establish an air service for Cobar and had been integral in re-establishing RPT services which he believes will bring enormous social-economic benefit to Cobar and the surrounding region.
CSA Mine’s Chief Executive Officer Deon Van Der Mescht said the company was very pleased to work with Rex in re-establishing a direct flight connection for Cobar.
“Affordable flight services are important for CSA Mine, and good news for our people, their families and the broader community,” Mr Van Der Mescht said.
Air Link’s first Cobar to Sydney air service got off the ground in 1992 and in June 2005, the number of return services per week was increased to 14 to meet demand.
In November 2005 Air Link was acquired by Regional Express (Rex) and the regular passenger route to Sydney continued until December 2008 when Rex terminated its subsidiary Air Link services to Cobar and other surrounding western area towns.
Only charter services were then available until Brindabella commenced operations in September 2010.