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FMG cancels WA FIFO flights

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Fortescue Metal Group is no longer going ahead with fly in, fly out charter flights from Busselton Regional Airport this month.

The cancellation comes as the company found it unfeasible as it would have interrupted rosters.

Aircraft charter company and subsidiary of Qantas Network Aviation denied the move to defer the flights plan was due to cost issues or insufficient airport services.

It said the call was made by FMG, The West Australian reported.

Busselton Mayor Ian Stubbs is unhappy with the decision. The City of Busselton had informed him the flights would commence next week.

“I’ve spoken with FMG and they’ve told me they had a good look (at flights) last year, but it didn’t work out due to changes to their rostering,” Stubbs said.

“They came back again and did the same exercise and came to the same conclusion. They do intend to continue to monitor it to see if the sums add up in the future.”

“It’s disappointing because we’ve been trying to get FMG on board for some time, but unfortunately it’s not adding up for them,” he said.

It would have started with two flights a week from Busselton, with chances of more being added.

Stubbs said mining companies would find Busselton an attractive possibility once the airport’s apron was expanded and new jet fuelling services were provided.

“There have been a few other mining companies that have shown interest, but they are waiting for these jet refuelling facilities,” he said.

City of Busselton commercial services manager Jenny May said the City interacted with the charter service or airline company after the cancellation, and not the mining company.

“We are therefore not privy to the future plans of FMH,” she said.

“A request for a new service by a charter operator servicing FMG to commence in early September was made.

“However, this has not progressed and no start date has been confirmed.”

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