Orange is now officially connected by direct flight to Brisbane with the first day of service taking off on Monday.
Fly Corporate’s Saab 340 aircraft flew into Orange airport at 10.50am on Monday to herald a new era in transport for Orange.
Nineteen people took the two hour flight from Brisbane while 14 left Orange for the return flight at 11.25am.
They included five “plane spotters” who made the return trip.
One of them, Bernard Proctor, said he had first flown from Sydney to Brisbane to join the inaugural flight.
“We love being av-geeks,” he said.
Mr Proctor said he had travelled around the world to enjoy the air passenger experience.
He was joined by fellow plane-spotters Nathan Sieben, Joel Thomas, Tim Johns and Keeley Wakefield for the flight.
Mr Wakefield said it was a comfortable flight – even though he would only spend 35 minutes in Orange.
“It’s more about the flight and enjoying the experience,” he said.
Alicia McMurtrie took the flight down to catch up with family in Cowra.
Miss McMurtrie said she normally would have had to fly to Canberra and get a lift to the Central West.
“This is a lot easier.”
And she said on-board celebrations made the historic trip even better.
“We had champagne on the plane. I don’t know if that’s going to be a regular thing,” she said.
Rebekah Taranto was flying from Orange to Brisbane.
“I’m going to see my cousin’s family,” she said.
“I wouldn’t have been able to go before.
“It’s really good because you don’t have to go to Canberra or Sydney and get a connecting flight.
“This has far less hassles.”
Miss Taranto said she would stay in Queensland for two weeks before flying back to Orange.
Deidre Scarr took the historic first day flight from Orange to holiday with her daughter who lives on the Sunshine Coast.
“Usually I have to catch a bus to Sydney,” she said.
“It’s a much simpler way to travel.”
Fly Corporate sales manager Geoff Woodham said the company was pleased with the first-day response.
He said there was a mix of business and personal travellers.
Mr Woodham said the initial timetable allowed for one return flight daily Monday-Friday.
However, he said there had already been requests for extra services.
Mr Woodham said that if there was sufficient demand they might look at Friday night and weekend services.
Tickets start from $259 one-way.