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Flight delays raise concerns
Flight delays raise concerns

Albany MP Peter Watson has raised concerns about what he claims are regular flight delays on the Albany-Perth air route due to Skywest maintenance issues.

Last week Mr Watson wrote a letter to Transport Minister Troy Buswell and Skywest claiming the route seemed to be the only one which experienced regular delays due to maintenance issues.

Mr Watson said he regularly received reports of delays on the route.

“My main concern is it’s always Albany flights which are delayed,” he said.

“I go up on a regular basis and it happens far too many times, it’s just an accepted fact that there is going to be delays, especially from the Perth end.”

The member said from now on he would send a letter to the minister and Skywest each time he received a report of flight delays due to maintenance.

“A lot of people stop me in the street and say ‘Skywest stuffed me up again’,” Mr Watson said.

“I encourage people if they do have an issue with it to let me know and I’ll make sure the minister and Skywest knows.”

Skywest commercial executive general manager Alan Stuart said Skywest had not yet been approached by Mr Buswell’s office with Mr Watson’s claims and declined to comment.

Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington said overcrowding problems at Perth Airport could be the source of some delay issues.

“Skywest have two flights a day (on the Albany-Perth route) and it seems to be a pretty regular service,” he said.

Mr Buswell said it was the Government’s preference to see the Perth to Albany route serviced by more than one airline.

“The people of Albany and others travelling to and from Albany frequently express their desire to me for there to be competition on that route,” he said.

“I share their frustration, and it was disappointing that airlines were not prepared to operate the route in competition when the review of intrastate air services was completed in early 2011.”

keir.tunbridge@albanyadvertiser.com