Airline Services Saturday Schedule

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Number: D42/2017

Date: 29 August 2017

Relevant: Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Topic: Airline Services Saturday Schedule

As community members would be aware, the Saturday flight service from Perth to Cocos (Keeling) Islands has been diverted to Learmonth for refuelling on a number of occasions over the last three months. This has resulted from a combination of recent changes by the Indonesian aviation authorities about the airfields Virgin Australia Airlines can use as a ‘technical alternate’ (explained below) and strong headwinds. Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands are designated as ‘Remote Islands’ and Civil Aviation Security Authority regulations require operators to carry enough fuel to divert from either island to a suitable Indonesian or mainland Australia alternate aerodrome.

We regret that these disruptions to the Saturday schedule have caused inconvenience for many travellers and businesses.

Following advice from Virgin Australia Airlines, the Department advises community members that scheduled stops in Learmonth are expected to continue on the Saturday services for the foreseeable future. A fixed time slot cannot be confirmed with certainty due to Learmonth's status as a Defence airfield, however Virgin Australia Airlines will be working to maintain the indicative schedule below, where possible.

Flight NumberDeparture Time (local)Arrival Time (local)
VA1913 PER: 07:35 LEA: 09:25
VA1913 LEA: 10:15 CCK: 11:45
VA1917 CCK: 12:30 XCH: 14:35
VA1912 XCH: 15:20 PER: 19:55

Future options

Virgin Australia Airlines is assessing the impacts of the Indonesian Aviation authorities' changes on the Saturday flight service and is expected to propose options to the Department in the next few months. In the meantime, we encourage passengers to make any connecting travel arrangements based on the indicative schedule via Learmonth.

We look forward to providing the community with updates on this issue as further information is available.

Karen Lindsay
A/g General Manager
Indian Ocean Territories Branch

Note: Technical alternate is where an Operator does not plan to land or take-off from the alternate aerodrome and is nominated only in good weather to meet requirements for flight planning and load constraints.