Regional Express has announced that its financial results for the first half of the 2013/14 financial years would be “significantly deteriorated.”
In a statement to the ASX, chief operating officer Garry Filmer said the forecast profit before tax (PBT) for the first half of the financial year would be approximately 40 per cent of that achieved in the same period last year.
“Leisure and other discretionary travel registered a slight decline, however it was business related travel that really plummeted, continuing the trend from the end of the previous financial year,” Filner said, adding that; “The entire aviation industry is financially haemorrhaging right now and approaching collapse. Qantas’s first half profits are expected to be registering a decline of over $450 million from a PBT of about $140 million in the prior period, to an expected loss of over $300 million. Virgin Australia shows a similar trend with a decline of about $80 million from a PBT of about $25 million, to an expected loss of more than $50 million.”
He added that regional aviation had been “even harder hit”, citing slimmer profit margins and the collapse Brindabella last year as a consequence of “today’s toxic environment.”
“The Abbott Government to date has not made any significant inroads to reversing the devastation inflicted to the economy by the previous government,” he said. “We implore the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development to take immediate and forceful efforts to fulfil his election commitments to regional aviation outlined in the Coalition’s Policy for Aviation, as many regional carriers have little time left before they face the same fate as Brindabella.
“For many parts of regional Australia, this would spell the end of regular air services forever and it would be ironic if it were the Nationals that presided over this outcome.”