Rex has announced it’s been granted permission to fly even more services underwritten by the federal government.
Regional Express has also confirmed it’s now finalised separate deals with Queensland, WA and SA to provide journeys over and above what has been outlined in the national agreement, bringing its total weekly return services to 88.
Rex’s deputy chairman John Sharp said, “With the Commonwealth assistance packages for regional carriers in place, we are confident that we will be able to help all regional communities who are willing to work in partnership with us to rebuild their regional air services to their full potential over the next two years.”
In late March, the government announced a $298 million bailout for local aviation, the Regional Airline Network Support (RANS) program, hours after a help-us-or-lose-us deadline imposed by Rex and eight independent carriers expired.
The package includes $198 million for regional airline routes to 138 communities and a further $100 million for related companies that support the industry.
The package will last for six months and see service and security charges waived and fuel excise lifted back to its 1 February level.
In addition, Rex has formalised a deal with Queensland and is close to signing off agreements with WA and SA.
“Regional Australia owes the DPM Michael McCormack and the Morrison government a great debt of gratitude for providing funding to ensure that it continues to receive minimal essential air links to the capital cities for medical, professional and other essential travel needs,” Sharp said.
“Without this intervention, many smaller regional communities would risk not having any air services at all for at least six months. Those in Queensland, WA and SA should also acknowledge the contribution of their state governments in funding more services.”
Last week, Australian Aviation reported how Rex’s first application was successful. Its praise for the government appears to end hostilities between the carrier and local and national governments, which saw it release a series of increasingly dramatic statements, which Australian Aviation has charted here.
Click the links or read below to see more of our in-depth coverage:
- Rex and the Airlines for Australia and New Zealand Group, hailed the deal, with the former claiming it would have stood down 90 per cent of its staff without it;
- However, four major ground handling businesses said the new package “ignores” them;
- If you’ve been stood down, see our interview with one of Australia’s top employment lawyers to know your rights.