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Rex cuts services due to lockdowns

written by Adam Thorn | July 21, 2021
One of Rex’s new 737s, VH-REX, shot in Melbourne by Victor Pody

Rex has announced it’s to suspend or “greatly reduce” its services affected by state border closures and lockdowns.

The airline has yet to release a list of the exact routes, but said it will affect its regional and domestic networks in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania.

Customers are being urged to visit rex.com.au/Coronavirus/CovidBookingChanges.aspx to apply to receive a full refund.

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It comes after deputy chairman John Sharp said last week current COVID restrictions had closed 80 per cent of his business.

In an interview with US news channel CNBC, he said, “If we don’t do something for airlines, there won’t be too many left at the end of this.

“It’s devastating to see the impact. It’s really knocked out the vast majority of our business.

“We’ll lose revenue and we’ll have people we’ll have to pay people who we can’t generate income from. We’re back to where we were at the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

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“Unless government are prepared to assist business, a lot of business will close. If this NSW lockdown continues for any length of time, it’s been suggested it could be for up to six weeks, government assistance will be needed.

“Governments have to start floating people’s boats again. If governments want to keep an industry alive, they’re going to have to help us. No airline can keep paying people when you don’t generate the revenue to keep employing them.”

Earlier this month, TWU national secretary Michael Kaine told Australian Aviation that aviation businesses had so far held back from standing down workers but the situation would “inevitably” change if restrictions rumbled on.

“People are currently working on ordinary hours,” said Kaine. “But for many in aviation, that itself is hard because they’re not getting the overtime and overnight allowances that they’ve become accustomed to.

“Clearly, casuals and part-timers will be used as a minimum, so they’re already suffering.

“But in terms of stand down, they haven’t been triggered yet. We had some pre-meetings with companies, which we are working with to attempt to avoid that.

“But it’s going to be an inevitability, particularly if the New South Wales situation doesn’t improve.”

Kaine said there are already calls in a couple of companies for staff to take unpaid leave.

“That means workers are going to be left to the vagaries of any potential social security system with no dedicated aviation payment,” he added.

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6 Comments

  • Rodney V Ellis

    says:

    “People are currently working on ordinary hours,” said Kaine. “But for many in aviation, that itself is hard because they’re not getting the overtime and overnight allowances that they’ve become accustomed to.

    Interesting comment but I thought that any sensible person would not rely on allowances above their normal wage.

    • Warwick

      says:

      Yes, Rodney, ‘sensible’ being the operative word.

      Many, many people, even to the extent of getting home loans, based on their shift & penalty allowances, rely on the ‘extra’ $.
      When that’s no longer available, for whatever reason, they’re then in deep financial do-do.
      Very foolish, & lessons’ learned the hard way.

      • Rocket

        says:

        @ Warwick

        Yep. When I joined the Industry many, many years ago even at the nation’s largest carrier, I was told by everybody in the way of advice (management included) – DO NOT rely on penalties and allowances in taking out loans as there will inevitably be quiet times where you may struggle.

        I took the advice, many didn’t and thought they were smarter then went straight to the union to complain when wages dropped because of industry downturns, not because the company was trying to save money or anything like that.

  • Mitchell

    says:

    Why doesn’t Sharp have the guts to ask Rex’s Singaporean owners’ for funds, instead of wanting the Austn taxpayers’ to bail it out, yet again?

  • Keef

    says:

    Mr Sharp shouldn’t be ridiculing Qantas for their customer service and their refund/credit options when REX refunds don’t happen and communication with their call centre is as bad as Qantas. I cancelled a booking online due covid restrictions on June 13 and applied for a refund on line as per the instructions on the REX website and have not received any communication from REX apart from an automated email on 13 June. Its now 23 July and no refund and no communication from REX. Shame on you Mr Sharp stop knocking other carriers when you don’t live up to your own Covid Guarantee Refund Policy….shame shame shame!

    • Christopher

      says:

      Yes, Keef, Sharp’s just so full of himself, his arrogance knows no bounds. Typical ex-pollie.

      He boasted on this forum about ‘cash refunds in bank accounts within 7 days’.
      From what you’ve said, it’s not happening. Why isn’t that surprising?

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