BRINDABELLA Airlines is staying tight-lipped over the uptake of flights since the Orange to Sydney service started a fortnight ago.
But passenger numbers were going in the right direction, upwards, according to the airline’s commercial manager James Blake.
The first 30-seater flight out of Orange airport took off with only 10 passengers on February 18.
Mr Blake said things had improved but would not reveal the average passenger numbers per flight or which flight time was the most popular, in a bid to keep the competitive edge over fellow airline Regional Express (Rex).
“There’s always peaks and troughs and some flights are busier than others,” he said.
“Some flights you think ‘this is absolutely fantastic’ but other flights you’d like to see more.
“You usually expect some directional imbalance [with new routes] where initially outbound flights from Sydney might be more than the inbound flights, but overall it’s been very balanced.”
Last week the airline announced it would not offer Qantas Frequent Flyer points to passengers as promised, but Mr Blake said he did not expect the change to affect bookings.
“We take it very seriously and it resulted in changes to management,” he said.
“All the customers affected were phoned individually.
“Where a passenger has travelled with us under the expectation they may have been entitled to the points we’ve refunded them their fare in full.”
Mr Blake would not comment on whether Brindabella may pair with Qantas in the future.
The airline will switch permanently to 30-seater flights at the end of the month when a third daily flight begins, dropping the 19-seater flights, independent of passenger numbers.