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Air links

Direct flight to London, 1962The establishment of a State-wide network of air routes, linked to interstate and international flights has done much to reduce the isolation felt by communities within Western Australia. Although the first air services were offered in Western Australia during the 1920s, passenger services to eastern Australia did not begin until the 1930s.

Air travel from west to east was still new and exciting enough for the Western Australian government to commission an air race in 1929 as a part of its centenary celebrations. Air travel remained difficult and expensive, preventing most people from using it to go interstate, while travel by sea remained the favoured method of international travel.

The new airportIt was not until 1962 that Western Australia was connected with a direct jet flight to London. The replacement of prop-driven aircraft with the jet significantly reduced travel times, increased the number of people carried on a flight and increased the numbers of flights between destinations, helping to reduce costs and make air travel more affordable for Western Australians. By 1966 there were six overseas flights per week landing at the new International Airport in Perth. At about this time the first east-west jet flights were commenced.

International flights increaseThe 1970s and 1980s saw a massive increase in the number of Western Australians travelling interstate and overseas to Europe and to holiday destinations in south-east Asia. The development of these air links have altered Western Australian's sense of their place in the world and within the Australian Commonwealth.

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