Tamworth council investigates cancelled flights

FILLING THE VOID: Fly Corporate sales manager Geoff Woodham said the airline came to Tamworth after requests for a reliable service. Photo: Jamieson Murphy

FILLING THE VOID: Fly Corporate sales manager Geoff Woodham said the airline came to Tamworth after requests for a reliable service. Photo: Jamieson Murphy

A STRING of cancelled flights at Tamworth Regional Airport have councillors concerned the city could be seen as an unreliable destination.

Three Sydney to Tamworth flights on Wednesday and Thursday were cancelled or delayed due to various reasons, and the result was far reaching.

Councillor Juanita Wilson said many people had contacted her personally to tell their story, while many shared their experience on social media.

“One woman travelled from overseas for a school reunion and when she arrived in Sydney her flight to Tamworth was cancelled,” Cr Wilson said.

“She was stuck sitting in Sydney Airport for seven hours and missed the first session of the reunion.

“It's not good when you travel halfway around the world and it's the Sydney-Tamworth route knocking you off.”

Cr Wilson also heard a large agriculture training session in Tamworth was disrupted.

People travel to the city from across the region for the event, only to have the trainer caught in Sydney.

I'm concerned when events are being impacted and Tamworth's reputation as a good venue is being affected. - Tamworth Regional councillor, Juanita Wilson

“I'm concerned when events are being impacted and Tamworth's reputation as a good venue is being affected,” Cr Wilson said.

“I'm grateful for the service the Tamworth airlines provide. But there is some disquiet that flights are being cancelled with greater frequency than previously.”

She's asked council's business and community director John Sommerlad to seek assurances that the spate of cancellations was “just a spot in time and not an emerging pattern”.

“Tamworth is a destination with great facilities and it needs reliable air transport,” Cr Wilson said.

“When people book their flight they need confidence they will get to their destination or commitment on time or at all.”

Regional airline Fly Corporate will launch its Tamworth-Brisbane route at the end of October, becoming the four airline to operate out of Tamworth since the mid-90s.

It decided to investigate expanding into Tamworth after calls from the community for a more reliable service.

Fly Corporate sales manager Geoff Woodham said the airline would have several flights to the Queensland capital every week.

“That's what the community has asked for,” Mr Woodham said.

“We had a lot inquiries from the general public, they wanted reliability, they wanted a new airline to travel on and basically they've come to us to say they want something better in the market.

“We've taken that on our chest and said this is a good fit.”

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