Regional Flights Given Green Light with Federal Funding

In accordance with the Federal Government’s COVID-19 Regional Airline Network Support (RANS) program funding has been received for both regional airlines operating from Essendon Fields Airport, Sharp Airlines and Fly Corporate. This funding will see flights from Melbourne via Essendon Fields Airport to regional ports including Griffith, Dubbo, Wollongong, Orange and Flinders Island recommence in early May.

Last month, Sharp Airlines in conjunction with EastWest announced the suspension of the air service between Griffith and Melbourne (Essendon) due to the unforeseen magnitude of the COVID-19 impacts.

Sharp Airlines has secured limited funding to operate two weekly flights between Griffith and Melbourne. Flights will run from Essendon Fields Airport on Tuesdays and Fridays commencing Friday 1 May 2020.

Sharp Airlines CEO, Dallas Hay, is pleased the Federal Government recognised the importance of the air service linking the two cities. “Health Specialists from Melbourne will again be able to fly to Griffith and provide essential services to the community during the COVID-19 crisis,” he said.

Further to this,  Sharp has commenced a twice-weekly service between Flinders Island and Essendon Fields to provide essential travel to island residents and government-approved essential workers only.  More information is available on Sharp’s website.

Fly Corporate has also entered into a Grant Agreement with the Federal Government to provide a minimum weekly schedule from Monday 4 May 2020 to the regional ports it serviced prior to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will ensure secure and affordable access for passengers who need to travel between Melbourne and Dubbo, Wollongong or Orange, and to support the movement of essential freight such as critical medicine and personal protective equipment.

To enhance the safety of passengers travelling through Essendon Fields Airport, the airport has introduced a number of new measures. This includes additional communications to passengers reiterating the importance of social distancing and good hygiene, the avoidance of travel should people feel unwell or suffer any symptoms associated with COVID-19, and increased sanitation across all customer touch points.

Essendon Fields Airport General Manager, Colin Fort stressed the importance of adhering to the rules set in place by Government and maintaining the safety of travellers, staff and the community as regional flights recommence.

“We’re thrilled to see regular public transport resume from our Airport and re-establish a vital connection from Melbourne to these ports for medical services, medical equipment and freight.

“We worked closely with our airline partners and industry bodies to develop strategies to provide a suitable facility for the recommencement of flights. A Passenger Facilitation Plan, ensuring queuing, seating and flow arrangements are consistent with social distancing requirements. Some of these initiatives include removing furniture in the waiting lounge to ensure social distancing is met, queuing markings, signage and enhanced cleaning measures,” Mr Fort commented.

The airport will have alcohol-based sanitiser at check-in counters and in seating areas and alcohol-based wipes will be available at baggage reclaim.

For more information regarding flight schedules and travel information please visit each airline’s respective website.

Sharp Airlines – East West Airlines –

Fly Corporate –