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NSW government deregulates Sydney to Moruya and Merimbula routes

written by australianaviation.com.au | January 17, 2017

Rex coul have competition on Sydney-Moruya and Sydney-Merimbula after the NSW government deregulated the two intrastate routes. (Dave Parer)
Rex coul have competition on Sydney-Moruya and Sydney-Merimbula after the NSW government deregulated the two intrastate routes. (Dave Parer)

The NSW Government has opened up two intrastate air routes to competition and has called on Canberra to boost the number of takeoff and landing slots at Sydney Airport dedicated to regional services.

NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said on Monday the Sydney-Moruya and Sydney-Merimbula routes would be deregulated.

Currently, Regional Express (Rex) is the only operator on both routes. However, once deregulated, other carriers would be able to serve those two NSW south coast destinations.

The State Government said the move continued its recent run of deregulation, after it opened up the Cobar, Cooma, Mudgee and Narrabri routes to competition in 2015. Constance noted there were new services on three of those routes since they were deregulated.

The Minister said keeping a route regulated offered no guarantees it would remain in place.

“All it does is add unnecessary red tape for regional operators,” Constance said in a statement.

“I am determined to give regions the fair access to essential services they have been crying out for. Greater choice and more air services will have important flow-on benefits to health, education and employment for everyone who lives here.


”By pursuing deregulation, the NSW Government is doing what it can to increase competition, reduce barriers for new entrants to the market and reduce costs to passengers.”

Constance said the government was considering deregulation on nine more intrastate routes, with discussions with local councils and airlines on flights from Sydney to Bathurst, Broken Hill, Grafton, Moree, Narrandera, Parkes and Taree underway.

Feedback on the question of deregulation was due into local councils by 28 February 2017.


Meanwhile, Constance was pushing for the Federal Government to add five more regional slots at Sydney Airport as part of efforts to boost the number of intrastate flights.

“We are doing everything we can to boost access to the regions, and it is about time Canberra came to the table. It’s time to add five more regional slots at Sydney Airport,” Constance said.

“Regional NSW should not have to cop the loss of 10 per cent of slots since 2001. I want to see our colleagues in Canberra working as hard as the NSW government to make it easier to land and launch more planes to the regions.”

Sydney Airport operates with a cap of 80 aircraft movements an hour, calculated in 15-minute blocks. However, a number of slots, particularly during peak hours, are reserved for intrastate NSW services.

Comments (5)

  • BG


    Certainly about time. Regional Express have artificially been keeping the passenger numbers low on the SYD-MIM route for many years. Flights are usually always full, and exceedingly high-priced.

    A good opportunity for another regional carrier to develop the SYD-MIM route; however it also opens up the opportunity for better asset utilisation along MEL-MIM-SYD, or ADL-MIM-SYD.

    Well done NSW Govt…

  • Anil Kattula


    Watch Qantas link go in with cheap dash 8 flights and squeeze competitors out. They will use their link with Qantas to their full advantage. Other operators cannot match the lounge access and connections.

  • Shane A


    Orange isn’t mentioned. Exceedingly high Rex airfares is a talking point amongst locals. Bring in the competition!

    The Central West deserves more than a slow and windy XPT service!

  • john


    who wants to fly to awful Sydney Mascot ?

    Uncrowded Bankstown is a much better option.

    Flights should be allowed on a charter basis. Stupid costs of $100k plus, just to open up a new RPT route are insane.

    NZ carriers can fly OZ domestic routes without any OZ bureaucracy.

  • Graeme Blomfield


    Competition and choice is essential. An opportunity for other airlines to provide upgraded service for many more users. As research shows there is a real opportunity to increase users at competitive price with service. The South Coast region will welcome visitors and all users and potential to market and increase passenger use can contribute to much larger use of planes.
    The deregulation by Minister Constance of route and call to restore landing slots is good common sense and large economic benefit to region.

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