I had the chance to try out Sharp Airlines on a trip to Hamilton
as a time-efficient alternative to V-Line. This doesn't imply that V-Line is not an enjoyable transport mode but the higher cost buys you 50 minutes of travel versus 4 hours.
Established in 1990 and headquartered in Hamilton, Sharp Airlines is an airline serving regional Victoria and South Australia with bases in Portland, Adelaide and Launceston Airport. Hamilton Airport serves as its training operation base while maintenance is located in Portland Airport. It operates several services including:
Portland - Adelaide, Geelong, Melbourne
Adelaide - Mildura, Port Augusta, Portland, Geelong
Flinders Island - Launceston, Melbourne
King Island - Wynyard, Launceston
For first-time passengers, forgot Boeing and Airbus. Regional Australia flights are on much smaller aircrafts. Sharp Airline uses Fairchild Metroliners. The twin-engine turboprop plane has 2 pilots and 19 seats and allows each passenger to check in up to 15 kilograms of luggage. Passengers unused to the engine noise of smaller aircrafts may require earplugs and note the absence of a lavatory on the plane. That's likely a good reason for not offering any food and drink on board.
I decided to join the ranks of its annual 100,000 passengers with my flight departing from Essendon Airport in Melbourne to Hamilton.
The small airport is a frequent flyer's delight. No tedious immigrant or customs checks or even queues of people. Checking in was a breeze. Minus the private lounge, the service of the Sharp ground staff were first-class friendly, helpful and personable. After all, there are only 19 passengers. They helped with taxi reservations. Luggage handling, taking off and landing were also efficient and on time. The seat is comfortable for short haul trips. Within only 50 minutes to Hamilton, all that's left to do is to sit back, watch the passing clouds
over the Southern Grampians
, dream of brekkie at Comfort Inn Botanicals
, lunch at Alexandra House
and dinner at Darriwill Farm Cafe Restaurant and maybe plan my trip to Flinders Island and Launceston with a stay at Quality Colonial