LETTER: Alice Springs may move closer to a healthy aviation market, says Conlan


Sir – I have held meetings with aviation operators Jetstar and Virgin Australia in Sydney to discuss the Northern Territory’s role in the industry.
These major aviation players are now aware the Northern Territory is open for business and I remain optimistic about this.
Alice Springs was flagged in both meetings with Jetstar CEO David Hall and Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti as a major tourist destination.
There is a clear desire by these airlines to expand their services across Australia, and I want to ensure that Central Australia is included in this.
Inbound and outbound services to Central Australia have the potential to expand, creating increased competition, and ideally, greater choice for locals and tourists.
Virgin Australia’s proposed partial acquisition of Tiger Airways and full acquisition of Skywest could result in additional services across the Northern Territory, if the move is approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Since 2011, only one airline has serviced Alice Springs and I remain hopeful this can increase in the future.
Mr Borghetti, expressed a desire to service remote and regional Australia, a move which is subject to additional aircraft availability and the approval of the proposed acquisitions.
Once these boxes are ticked, Alice Springs is one step closer to having a healthy and competitive aviation market.
Matt Conlan
Minister for Tourism and Major Events


  1. A budget airline into Alice Springs and Darwin is needed “yesterday”. Urgent action is required now or Tourism Central Australia is finished. Operating costs are too high with low tourist numbers.

  2. Am planning to visit the Red Centre but have been horrified at flight costs from Sydney and then on to Cairns.
    Might just give the whole area a miss. However it’s not just air fares but hotel costs also need addressing.

  3. Do you really think Qantas will be happy with another airline coming to Alice Springs. Let us see who has control over where the other airlines can be based.
    We know there will be enough people coming through Alice for two airlines and it would be great if we can get cheaper airfares to visit other parts of Australia.

  4. A budget airline definitely, is what is not needed to service Alice Springs or other towns or cities throughout Australia.
    I have traveled many more times than the average traveler throughout Australia and can say that the prices that the only full service operator charge can be quite reasonable and at times, very unreasonable.
    You simply get what you pay for, so if you want a safe and efficient airline then you must pay for their services.
    If you want something that has been here yesterday but is not today and most likely could possibly be back here tomorrow then keep on blowing your whistle for the circus to come to town.


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