Bay flight costs ‘a case of use it or lose it’
AIRFARE costs at the Hervey Bay Airport are subject to the demand for flights and the price of small aircraft operating out of the airport, a local airline expert says.
Helloworld Hervey Bay's managing director Joe Minnegal, who has worked with regional airlines since 1975, said the costs associated with operating flights on small aircraft from Hervey Bay drove prices up.
"What would you prefer, one single service once a day or multiple services as it currently operates? It's a case of use it or lose it," Mr Minnegal said.
"If more people use the services and flights are filled, then the airlines will look at the scheduling more favourably.
"Because Hervey Bay has alternatives like driving and using shuttle services, the schedules and price availability is affected."
His comments come after a Senate inquiry into flights at regional centres concluded earlier this week.
While it found no evidence of price gouging by regional airlines, the Senate Committee recommended a separate Productivity Commission inquiry into pricing issues surrounding security arrangements at regional airports.
In the past, flights to and from Hervey Bay have been criticised for their pricing and for changing availability.
Mr Minnegal said people needed to understand how the fare system worked and said if people booked their flights earlier they had a better chance of securing a cheaper seat.
"We're comparing the cost of operating a small aircraft to a jet with 180 passengers... so there will be less cheaper seats on smaller aircrafts," he said.