Tasmania isn’t one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. It’s a rugged, isolated island with a name that’s often related to a menacing Looney Tunes character. However, there’s nothing scary about Tasmania at all, and roughly 500,000 people are lucky enough to call this piece of paradise home.
Although, getting to and from Tasmania hasn’t always been as easy or affordable as it is today. Airlines of Tasmania, a regional airline based in Hobart, offers scheduled and chartered flights for those wishing to travel to and throughout this adventure-filled outdoor playground.
Airlines of Tasmania, also known by the name Par-Avion in some markets, was created to serve the growing demand for short-haul flights throughout Tasmania and beyond.
Airlines of Tasmania was established as a regular public transport operator (previously it had been an airwork operator) in 1978, along with Par-Avion, a different branding used for chartered and sightseeing flights.
During the airline’s earliest years, services were operated between Strahan and Queenstown. Flights between Hobart and Strahan were also operated in the early 2000s, but the flights have since been cancelled due to marginal traffic. Seeking to make some changes, the airline introduced the Dornier Do 228 in early 2008, which required the airline to move its operations from Moorabbin Airport in Melbourne’s southeastern suburbs to Essendon Airport in the city’s northern suburbs.
Two years later, all Airlines of Tasmania flights to Flinders Island were taken over by Sharp Airlines. Sharp also adopted the airline’s operations to King Island in 2012.
Seeking to regain ground, Airlines of Tasmania announced a partnership with the University of Tasmania for flight training studies. The following year saw improvements for the airline, as the company announced it would be commencing regular flight services to Griffith and Essendon as well as expanding flights to the mainland.
The airline, now operating under the name Par-Avion Airlines, offers services between Launceston, Cape Barren Island and Tasmania. They also operate scenic flights to wilderness areas of Tasmania for sightseers, charter flights throughout Tasmania and even flights to the Latrobe Valley and Melbourne. The company, including Par Avion Wilderness Tours, Airlines of Tasmania, Par Avion Airlines and Par Avion Flight Training, is now a thriving airline aspiring to show Tasmania’s rugged beauty to the remainder of the world.