Perth Airport chief insists price has to be right for direct European flights

A plane takes off from Perth Airport. Stock image.
A plane takes off from Perth Airport. Stock image.

PERTH Airport chief executive Kevin Brown says he would love to have Qantas operate direct flights to Europe, but the price has to be right.

Accommodating such a move would be expensive for the airport when Qantas was committing to only one flight a day, with a vague potential for increasing to four, he said.

Qantas and the airport are struggling to strike a deal in which the airline would run direct flights to and from London through its domestic terminal to link passengers with its domestic services.

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However, the airport would have to significantly upgrade the domestic terminal to process international passengers, to accommodate the Australian Border Force, quarantine and Office of Transport Security.

The cost of that is estimated at more than $40 million, with the airport’s management resisting spending so much on a domestic terminal as it recently spent $250 million on its international airport terminal.

“The significant complexities of international passenger processing would require an upgrade,” he told ABC radio.

WA’s biggest home builder, Dale Alcock, has joined the growing list of business leaders urging the state government to make a deal happen, saying the state’s sluggish economy would get a great boost from the first-ever direct flights to Europe.