Rex has been granted permission to co-ordinate with rivals Qantas and Virgin Australia on 10 regional routes during the coronavirus crisis.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission made the decision four days after being asked, and it applies to routes listed at the bottom of this page.
Qantas appeared to be less open to the ruling, stating it was not given an opportunity to review the draft application, and believes “co-ordination between industry participants should be proposed by the government”.
Rex deputy chairman John Sharp said, “Rex is extremely grateful to the ACCC for granting this interim authorisation in just four days. This very prompt decision, and the one taken earlier with regards to the banks, will make a critical difference for all Australians, especially those in regional and rural communities, to survive this unprecedented crisis.
“The Civil Aviation Safety Authority is another regulatory body that has stepped up to the mark and responded very quickly, granting special concessions to give all commercial air operators breathing space.
“Rex, on behalf of the entire aviation community, would like to thank these two fine institutions for their invaluable role in helping all of Australia to pull through.”
The announcement from Rex came alongside a warning that it may not be able to transport COVID-19 testing samples from regional areas to capital cities for analysis unless it receives a government bailout.
Australia’s largest independent airline said it would announce the “shutting down of its network” on Friday if it hadn’t received “concrete proposals” of financial aid.
Sharp said, “The federal, state and local governments all need to act urgently and decisively to determine specific assistance packages so that the airlines can at least provide the bare minimum of essential air services to keep the communities running.”
The ruling applies to the following routes:
- Wagga Wagga
- Armidale and Dubbo
- Port Lincoln
- Kangaroo Island
- Mount Isa