WHILE there was widespread joy when Fly Corporate announced the introduction of a direct Orange-to-Melbourne route last week, comments on social media indicate potential users will be turned off using the service because of its cost.
Flights will commence on Monday, October 9 and will initially cost $259 one way.
Commenting on Nabo, Helen P indicated that price alone made the train her preferred mode of transport.
“For a pensioner, it is far too expensive compared with the XPT. When they bring the price down, it will be good, but until then it's still the XPT for me,” she wrote.
Susan Branwhite believed the main beneficiaries of the service would be business people whose tickets were paid for and miners.
“For two pensioners it’s a total of over $1000 return, including commute to Melbourne CBD,” she wrote on Nabo.
“It’s only been set up for business people or the mining community.”
The fact that the flights land at Essendon Airport – a 15-kilometre, 25-minute trip from Melbournes’ CBD – has also been flagged as a concern.
Mike Gallagher commented on Facebook that the cost of getting a taxi to and from the airport would just add to the expense for Orange travellers.
“Travelling for half an hour in a cab isn’t a cheap enterprise,” he wrote.
“Times that by two to get back out for your return flight and it’s suddenly a very costly trip away.”
HAVE YOUR SAY …
Fly Corportate sales manager Geoff Woodham defended the price, saying it had been calculated after consultation with the Orange community.
"We've spoken to local businesses and we've spoken to the travel industry and the travel sector," Mr Woodham said.
“I think it's more than affordable.”
Mr Woodham said the carrier’s positive experience after opening an Orange-to-Brisbane route bode well for the Melbourne service.
“Businesses have supported our flights into Brisbane,” he said.
“In our first two weeks our flights out of Orange were full. We never expected that.”
As well as businesses and people traveling for holidays or to see family in Victoria, Mr Woodham said the airline expected the Melbourne flights to be populated by government sector employees.
Orange Mayor John Davis said the pricing structure was based partially on maintaining the service in the months and years to come.
"In the aircraft industry it’s a very fine thing between making money and losing money, but the best thing is we have a service,” he said.
“We really don't want to pay the $159 and in the next three months they go broke.
“It really stacks up to a business case. You cannot expect people to be in the airline industry to want to lose money.”