DEPUTY mayor Ben Fry hopes a new airline could be operating from Bathurst Airport by some time in September.
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Negotiations are continuing between Bathurst Regional Council and an unnamed carrier after it was singled out as the preferred provider at the end of the expressions of interest period in June.
The former operating of the Bathurst to Sydney route, Regional Express Airlines (Rex), withdrew on June 30.
Cr Fry said negotiations with the potential new carrier were progressing well.
"If this airline does come on board, it will be one that will partner with us for the future longevity of the service and make sure that they offer good connection between Bathurst and Sydney and partner with us for marketing and events into the future," he said.
"It's just been a little bit of a process obviously. Any new tender like that is a bit of process, but we're getting there and it won't be too long before we announce something."
Even though Rex has already withdrawn and the Bathurst-Sydney route is not operating, Cr Fry said council isn't working to any particular deadline to have the new carrier take over.
However, he is hopeful it will be well before the end of the year.
"I'd like them to be here by September ideally. It will really depend on Sydney Airport and a few other things, which will dictate how quickly we can launch a service in Bathurst," Cr Fry said.
"We're really looking forward to welcoming a new airline here and want to start a new chapter in the Bathurst book by partnering with a strong, regional-centric airline that wants to give back to Bathurst the communities out here in the regions."
Although council is remaining tight lipped on who the new airline is, Cr Fry did share that they met much of the criteria council had set out in its expressions of interest documentation.
The airline also appears to share council's vision for a twice-daily return service to Bathurst and one on the weekend.
"The airline has been really receptive to all ideas that we take to them and we look forward to partnering with that airline if all goes well," Cr Fry said.
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