Regional Express (Rex) has slammed rival QantasLink, claiming that it has engaged in predatory pricing on the Townsville-Mackay route after the Qantas subsidiary increased capacity and dropped its lead-in fares to $99 one way.
”It looks like they are trying to push us out,” Rex managing director Jim Davis told the Townsville Bulletin. “We have not experienced such aggression before. We are not afraid of competition, it is a very competitive industry, but strong competition is different to predatory competition.”
Davis noted that the airline has not ruled out reporting QantasLink’s action to the ACCC, but has gone to the public first by launching an advertising campaign urging the community to support Rex’s services. ”If we get good support from the local community we believe we can put up a good fight,” said Davis.
A Qantas spokesperson denied that it had breached any guidelines, noting that the $99 fares and extra capacity would benefit the community.
Rex began services on the Townsville-Mackay route on October 1, while coincident with increasing Townsville-Mackay frequencies, QantasLink reduced services on the Cairns-Horn Island route from 16 to 13 per week and from 14 to 10 per week on the Cairns-Weipa route.