About 50 people boarded an historic flight on Monday, which marked the arrival of WA’s newest airline and much-anticipated competition to the Geraldton air travel market. Nexus Airlines’ maiden flight took off from Geraldton on Monday morning, making its way north with stops in Karratha, Port Hedland and Broome. Passengers boarded the flight after a traditional smoking ceremony was held during the opening event at Geraldton Airport. Led by an experienced flight crew of Western Australians, passengers were treated to yogurt and fruit on board and a speech from Nexus’ managing director, Michael McConachy. Mr McConachy said a lot of work had gone into the launch. “We’re really excited to be launching the airline from Geraldton this morning,” he said. “It’s been a long road, we’ve been working towards this for many years, we set up the international flight network back in 2019.” While the services will have a gradual roll out, the future plan for Nexus, operated by Aviair, will be massive for anyone who travels between Geraldton and Perth. “We’ll be doing three flights a week from Geraldton on the regional flight network,” Mr McConachy said. “Then after we start in Perth that will ramp up over a two-week period to where we’re doing 12 services a week down to Perth. “Trying to set up the schedule to suit the Geraldton community so they can get to Perth for the day, do their business and get back at the end of the day.” Geraldton MLA Lara Dalton said the expanded service would provide connectivity between Geraldton and the State. “This is a huge win for people in Geraldton and the Mid West, and highlights the impact of our Government’s ongoing commitment to improve access to air travel in regional WA,” she said. “We’re really excited to see Nexus launch today, it’s a fabulous opportunity for people of Geraldton and the Mid West. “It just gives people another choice, gives them an opportunity to use the regional capped fares that we have from Geraldton to Perth.” Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the new airline was a massive win for air travel in the regions. “Today’s first flight on the expanded Inter-Regional Flight Network by Nexus Airlines marks a historic moment for aviation services in WA. “Thanks to the support from our Government, this will be the first time the Inter-regional flight network operates between Geraldton and Karratha, a brand new link in the network.” The airline plans to be a game changer for FIFO workers who had to travel to Perth before if they wanted to go to site. Daniel Hatley, a FIFO worker who was on the inaugural flight from Geraldton to Karratha, said the direct flight would be a massive time saver. “Usually it would take me a day and a half in travel each week to Karratha by Perth, now days I can be to Karratha and back in a day and a half total,” he said. “It’s definitely cheaper and saves us a lot of time, to be there and back in three hours, before I would have barely made it one way in three hours. “It is great having that local vibe and you can see everyone is really excited. Regional travellers will be able to buy cheaper airfares under the State Government’s capped airfare scheme. Nexus will start daily connecting flights to Perth next week and its Kimberley services will start at the end of the month, linking Broome, Darwin and Kununurra.