Regional Express (Rex) says it plans to expand its community fare scheme to 23 destinations in Queensland as part of a six-month trial.
The participating communities will be those served by Rex’s two regulated routes from Brisbane, two regulated routes from Townsville and one regulated route from Cairns.
Under the scheme, a number of seats on those routes would be made available for sale as community fares outside of 60 days prior to departure. Then, within 24 hours of the flight, all remaining unsold seats would be made available as community fares.
The six-month trial would cover ticket sales and travel from August 2019 to January 2020, Rex said in a statement on Tuesday.
Rex general manager for network strategy and sales Warrick Lodge said the rollout of the community fare scheme in Queensland was being supported by Brisbane Airport, Wellcamp Airport and a number of smaller regional airports in the state.
“Without this partnership approach between the airline and the airports, the introduction of the Rex community fare throughout QLD would not be possible, Lodge said.
“Rex pioneered the revolutionary community fare scheme for regional air services, and we are very pleased to be expanding the scheme throughout remote and outback QLD with many communities doing it tough due to the prolonged drought conditions.”
Currently, Rex operates five Queensland-government regulated regional routes, as shown in the map below from the Queensland Government’s Department of Transport and Main Roads website. Three of those routes were won in a 2015 tender.
A recent Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee report on regional air services recommended the federal government call on the Productivity Commission to conduct a detailed economic analysis and investigate the feasibility of increasing operational subsidies and introducing price control alternatives to address the situation of high regional fares and other related issues.
To read Steve Gibbons’ feature story travelling on the Western 2 route from Brisbane to Mount Isa, “Black ice to red earth: the Saab 340 in its natural element”, from the October 2018 edition of Australian Aviation, click here.