Sharp Airlines only needs to increase patronage by “two or three passengers per flight,” its managing director says.
It comes after the State Government and Warrnambool and Glenelg councils have provided funding support to keep the routes between Melbourne and Warrnambool in the air for the next six months.
Managing director Malcolm Sharp said it was “a use it or lose it scenario".
"We are only talking two or three people per flight,” he said.
"We've got six months breathing space to make it work.”
The flight service is for passengers and freight.
"Every morning we fly freight from Melbourne to Warrnambool," Mr Sharp said.
"We've managed to secure freight services moving forward, we've had that for 12 months and we've renewed that contract."
He said increasing ticket sales was important
"We are focusing on getting local people to use it more and we are also looking at, through the Glenelg Shire, Warrnambool City Council and the State Government and tourism bodies, to increase and attract tourists on flights,” he said.
He said for international tourists flying into Melbourne, another flight to Warrnambool for a journey to see the Great Ocean Road could be safer than hiring a car and driving.
"I think if they even hop on a bus out of Melbourne it's a 12 or 13 hour day," he said.
"That tourism market is something we are really pushing for.”
A Warrnambool council spokesman said it had plans to help increase patronage.
“Along with funding support council will work with the airline in an effort to increase the use of the service, which could play a larger role in the region’s visitor economy,” he said.
A Glenelg Shire spokeswoman said it had been supportive of Sharp Airlines since it commenced business operations.
“The shire uses the airline for travel when practical and cost effective and encourages the community to consider the service when planning longer journeys,” she said.
“We want to ensure this important service continues to remain available in our region and as such we will work with Sharp Airlines to increase passenger numbers into the future. This will involve marketing and tourism development, including identifying new and innovative opportunities to entice further visitation.”