A selection of my photographs of the ever-changing WA commuter airline scene

As the decade began, Civil Flying Services (WA) had just had a name change to Stillwell Airlines. Swearingen Metros had been
introduced on the prime scheduled services from Perth to Albany, Esperance, Norseman and Kalgoorile.
Here's Metro VH-SWO Town of Esperance parked at the airline's Perth terminal, which still displays the CFS name.

In February 1980 Skywest Airlines was formed by the merger of Perth-based Jet Charter Air Services and Stillwell Airlines.
Skywest commenced scheduled services on a diverse route network: Perth to Bunbury, Rottnest Island, Albany, Esperance, Kalgoorlie, Norseman, Yeelirrie, Wiluna, Telfer, Meekatharra, Cue, Mt Magnet - and from Karratha to Mount Tom Price, Paraburdoo and Onslow.

Former Stillwell Airlines Metro VH-SWN repainted as Skywest Airlines, Perth June 1980

Jet Charter Air Services had operated from Perth Airport as Jet Charter WA, with Cessna 550 Citations and Mitsubishi Mu-2s

High over Perth in October 1980, former Jet Charter Citations VH-WNZ & -WNP show off their Skywest Airlines markings.
I took this early morning picture from a formating Beech Baron

Skywest purchased two new GAF Nomad 24As. VH-FHS at the Perth Airport passenger terminal in June 1980

Two new Embraer Bandierantes were ordered, first to arrive on delivery from Brazil was PT-SCA on 7 December 1980

PT-SCA was quickly out into airline servce by Skywest as VH-WBI Town of Albany, photogtraphed at Rottnest Island

Skywest decided on the Grumman Gulfstream 1 with high-density airline seating to boost capacity and passenger-appeal on their
prime airline routes to Esperance and Albany. Two former corporate executive transports were ordered from USA.
First to arrive on 7 December 1980 was 1959 model Gulfstream 1 N9300P, which was delivered via Britain and Europe

Australian certification for airline use suffered a series of unexpected and very expensive complications, resulting in the
cancellation of the second Gulfstream. N9300P finally emerged from the hangar as VH-WPA in November 1981

VH-WPA displays her stylish lines as she passes Perth Tower while departing on an Esperance service in April 1982.
Skywest quietly sold the Gulfstream back to USA the following year

Skywest now ordered three new British Aerospace Jetstream 31s for the airline routes. VH-JSW at Perth in June 1984

British Aerospace demonstrated their latest model BAe146 G-SCHH to Skywest at Perth Airport in November 1982

In January 1982 Skywest Airlines merged with its main charter rival, Trans West Airlines (formerly Trans West Air Charter)

Trans West Air Charter operated Beech King Air 200s on charter and mining company contracts in the north of WA.
VH-TLX lines up on Runway 24 at Jandakot in October 1980

 Former Trans West King Air 200 VH-TNQ at Perth in June 1982 after the merger with Skywest Airlines

Cessna 550 Citation VH-TNP over the Swan River, Perth in June 1981, photographed from a Trans West Cessna 210

The same Citation in Skywest markings at Perth Airport July 1985

Trans West Airlines purchased two DHC-6 Twin Otter 300s in Canada to be used on mining contracts in the north of WA.
C-GBNI was ex Surinam Airways PZ-TAY, seen on arrival at Jandakot 20 March 1980 on delivery via Europe

C-GBNI after Australian certification as VH-TNS

The second Twin Otter was VH-TNM, used on a scheduled courier service for Australian Iron and Steel company between
Derby WA and its iron ore mines on Koolan Island and Cockatoo Island.  Seen at Perth Airport in August 1982

Trans West Air Charter operated various twins including BN-2A Islanders. VH-TWI in July 1983 repainted in Skywest scheme

A pair of former Trans West Airlines Cessna 310Rs now in Skywest markings at Perth Airport June 1985

And other WA commuter airline operators.....

Experienced WA charter operator Jan Beers used his five Beech Barons to operate the remote Kimberley air service from Derby
to Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek from June 1982. Jan was licenced to carry passengers on the long positioning flights from
his base at Perth Airport to Halls Creek, by far the longest Third Level air route in Australia. 3 Barons at Perth in February 1982

Rottnest Airlines provided high-frequency Perth-Rottnest Island services with three Britten-Norman BN-2A Islanders.
VH-IGT was photographed after arrival at the island in January 1987

VH-RTP at Rottnest Island in January 1987. The airline changed name to Rottnest Airbus effective July 1987

Avior Airlines flew scheduled services with Piper PA-31-350 Chieftans, Perth-Southern Cross-Kalgoorlie, Perth-Bunbury,
and Perth-Geraldton-coastal towns-Carnarvon.  Here's VH-EDV at Perth Airport in June 1984

Laurie Potter Airlines was formed in 1987 by the Laurie Potter Health Studios group in Perth to take over Avior Airlines.
The new name commenced flying Avior's services on 24 July 1987. VH-EDV is seen arriving at Bunbury the following month

New operator Midstate Airlines took over the Perth-Bunbury route from 1st July 1986 after Skywest dropped the port.
This PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftan commenced Midstate services. Pictured at Jandakot,  July 1986

Midstate Airlines Cessna 310R VH-JVO carried the name Starship II on the nose at Perth Airport in May 1988

Barrack Helicopters Island Hopper service from Fremantle to Rottnest Island commencing December 1986 was an ambitious
service using two Ansett Airlines Sikorsky S-61Ns which had been retired in Melbourne for two years.
VH-BHO seen at Rottnest in January 1987 was the former Ansett VH-BRI from Hayman Island services

VH-BHJ also at Rottnest Island during January 1987 was the former Ansett VH-BRH

Rottnest Island airfield January 1987, with a Skywest Bandierante departing for the 20 miles fight to Perth Airport.
This weathered sign had previously carried advertising for Civil Flying Services, Murchison Air Services and even MMA

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