Regional Express has used the announcement of a slump in profits for the first half of the 2012-13 financial by almost a third to launch an extraordinary assault on the federal government’s aviation regulatory imposts.
“From the very first month of this FY, we are seeing the catastrophic impact the various draconian government policies are having on regional aviation,” said Rex executive chairman Lim Kim Hai. “Not only have policies like the carbon tax increased cost significantly, there has also been a significant drop in passenger numbers due to government policies exacerbating the effects of a fragile global economy.”
Rex’s profit before tax for the first half slumped by 32.6 per cent to $12.5 million, the airline said, on revenues of $135 million.
“Regional aviation has been hit particularly hard. Besides the carbon tax and consistently high fuel prices, it was also the target of an onslaught of government fiscal and regulatory measures which resulted in the steep decline in the results we see today” Lim said. “Many regional carriers are now struggling for survival. If the government does not reverse tack very soon, we will see irreversible damage being inflicted by the destructive policies that they have adopted. ”
Lim said that Rex would work with the Regional Airline Association of Australia “to define critical policy measures that need to be adopted to rescue regional aviation”.