Aviair (GD, Kununurra) is to receive a subsidy from the Western Australia Government to provide a new thrice-weekly service between the Outback towns of Derby, WA and Broome, for a 12-months period starting August 16, 2021.

The undisclosed amount follows a deed of agreement between the State Government and Aviair following a public tender process, Minister for Transport, Planning, and Ports, Rita Saffioti, announced in a statement.

The new flights - fixed at AUD119 (USD89) one way - will, for the first time, give Derby residents access to regular and affordable flights to Broome, which will allow them to connect to flights to Perth Int'l and beyond. Saffioti said the 12-month trial would enable the government to test the level of demand for the service.

Derby has a population of just over 3,000, many of which are Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. The town was the terminus of West Australian Airways Ltd, the first scheduled aviation service in Australia in the 1920s. At one time the Perth to Derby service was the world's longest passenger airline route.

In the 2017 state election, the Western Australian Government committed AUD1 million (USD759,481) for a 12-month trial of non-stop flights between Perth and Derby. While a tender process was undertaken at the time, no tender submission presented a viable option. In 2020, the Shire of Derby West Kimberley submitted a proposal to the State Government to reallocate the funding to a Derby-Broome trial.

Based in Kununurra, in the Kimberley region, with large operations at both Broome and Karratha in Western Australia, Aviair is a regional airline and also conducts charters and scenic air tours.

According to the company website, it has a fleet of 30 aircraft including nine-seater PC-12, nine-seater Beech (twin turboprop) B200 King Air, 13-seater Cessna (single turboprop) 208 Grand Caravan, Beech (twin piston), Cessna (single piston), and GA8 types.

Its main services include regular public transport (RPT), passenger charter, mining company Fly-in-Fly-Out (FIFO), air freight, clinic flights, Remote Area Subsidy Scheme (RASS) services, search and rescue flights, aerial geophysical work, photography flights, scenic flights, and tailor-made itineraries.

Its scheduled inter-regional services include 3x weekly flights between Karratha, Newman, Broome, and Port Hedland. It also provides 3x weekly services between Kununurra, Halls Creek, and Balgo Hill, as well as 3x weekly flights between Kununurra and Kalumburu.