COOBER PEDY News & Events

REX AIRLINES REDUCES REGIONAL AIR SERVICES AMIDST PANDEMIC

Regional Express (Rex) has finalised the first stage of network reductions with effect from Monday 6 April 2020.

The sudden and unexpected economic downturn caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic has significantly put at risk the ability of Rex Airlines to continue as a going concern.

Rex’s General Manager of Network Strategy & Sales, Warrick Lodge, said, “This capacity reduction alone will not be enough and we have reached out to local councils (airport owners) to seek a reduction in airport charges to keep operating costs to a bare minimum so that the reduced services can be sustainable.

According to the DCCP agenda for council mtg scheduled 24th March, Rex has requested Council to waive half of the landing fees at Coober Pedy airport between April and December 2020.

Rex says is appreciative of the heartfelt support of many councils, like Parkes Shire Council, who proactively approached Rex in the spirit of partnership to grant a total waiver of airport charges during Rex’s hour of need.

Rex promises to also stand by these local councils in their moment of adversity when Rex is solidly back on its feet.”

Overall, Rex will be reducing capacity by 45% which includes suspending three routes. In addition, Rex will also continue with its plans to exit the Ballina to Sydney route from 29 March 2020 and the Kangaroo Island to Adelaide route from 1 July 2020 as announced earlier in the year.

Rex’s General Manager of Network Strategy & Sales, Warrick Lodge, said, “The operating environment is extremely fluid and we will be will be monitoring the situation closely.

If the situation worsens we may be forced to further reduce capacity in the interests of maintaining essential regional air services.”

The airline has also made urgent representations to the Commonwealth Government for financial assistance.

Aviation Industry Support

The Commonwealth Government has announced an aviation package for the refunding and ongoing waiving of a range Government charges on the industry including aviation fuel excise, Airservices charges on domestic airline operations and domestic and regional aviation security charges.

These measures are in response to unprecedented and likely sustained period of falling international and domestic aviation demand related to the impact of COVID-19.

The total cost of the measures are estimated to be $715 million, with an upfront estimated benefit of $159 million to our airlines for reimbursement of applicable charges paid by domestic airlines since 1 February 2020.

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