The Busselton Margaret River Airport has a new customer with Fortescue Metals Group celebrating its first charter flight from the regional airport.
Fortescue has more than 460 team members from the South West and makes the company's second largest regional fly in fly out hub after the Pilbara.
Under the12-month trial, the extension to Fortescue's flight network will see weekly flights utilising F100 aircrafts to its Eliwana and Solomon mining hubs.
Currently, Fortescue is the only Pilbara-based mining company with flights between all its mine sites and the major communities of Karratha, Port Hedland, Broome, Kununurra and Fitzroy Crossing.
Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines said the trial was part of its commitment to its regional workforces.
"Fortescue is extending our flight network to Busselton to support our team members living in the South West region with more flexibility and family-friendly options," she said.
"In line with our commitment to ensuring regional communities benefit from our growth and development, we are confident this service will provide significant economic benefits and offer new job opportunities for people living in Busselton and surrounding towns."
City of Busselton mayor Grant Henley said it welcomed Fortescue and the support of the resources sector for its local residents.
"FIFO operations continue to bring essential revenue into the airport during COVID times, supporting both the local and state economy and ensuring jobs for South West people," he said.
Fortescue Eliwana General Manager Katie Charuga-Andrijasevic said the safety and wellbeing of the Fortescue family were its highest priority.
"The introduction of this new service will assist our team members and contractors with managing their fatigue by reducing the need for travel between Perth and the South West region," she said.