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Rex announces more services underwritten by government deal

written by Adam Thorn | April 29, 2020

A Regional Express (Rex) Saab 340 aircraft.
A Regional Express (Rex) Saab 340 aircraft.

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.

The new services are detailed in full here.

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.

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Comments (7)

  • Scott


    Do we care about government support for a majority foreign owned airline anymore or has that disappeared with Virgin?
    Maybe the difference has always been having a former Transport Minister on the board.

    • Paul


      Scott you’ve got it in one.

  • Hein Vandenbergh


    Yet they are still blackmailing local government, as airport owners, to waive charges or not pay them, using payment of outstanding debt payments as a lever. Local government has been specifically excluded from ALL federal rescue packages, yet REX baldly intimidates these communites. They are no-one’s friend, and exhibit increasingly anti-social attitudes. Their foreign owners are laughing all the way to the bank.

  • Michael Andrew


    I seriously hope they purchase better and safer equipment for the task!

    • Gerard


      Could you please elaborate?

  • Peter


    Always have their hand out.

  • Marcus


    Fragile regional communities will be supported with services in these troubled times.

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