Rex has had its application granted to operate services underwritten by the government’s $298 million regional aviation finance package.
Regional Express has also confirmed it is close to finalising separate deals with Queensland, WA and SA to provide services over and above what has been outlined in the national agreement.
Rex’s deputy chairman, John Sharp, said, “Rex would also like to thank, on behalf of all regional carriers, the Morrison government for extending this lifeline at an incredibly quick speed, without which all independent regional airline carriers would have collapsed in the coming days.”
The announcement would appear 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.
The “barebones” schedule under the Regional Airline Network Support (RANS) program will include one to two return services per week on most of its network and will last for up to six months.
In addition, Rex has also said it may be able to add extra flights because the federal government increased the number of funded services available for application late last week.
If successful, nominated Rex ports will see a minimum of two return services per week with some ports then having up to three return services.
“Never before has regional Australia been faced with such a massive and sudden threat,” said Sharp.
“Regional Australia is very fortunate to have a government which places the highest national priority in ensuring the regional socio-economic fabric is not permanently destroyed by this national emergency.
“With the Commonwealth assistance packages for regional carriers in place, we are confident that we will be able to help all regional cities who are willing to work in partnership with us to rebuild their regional air services to their full potential over the next two years.
“Rex will stand by all the regional communities that have stood by Rex during this global and national crisis.”