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Rex to put ‘maximum priority’ on renewed WA services

written by Jake Nelson | August 16, 2023

A Rex Saab 340B, VH-ZRI. (Image: Rex)

Rex has offered a mea culpa for recent service issues as the WA government re-awards it three regulated routes in the state.

The carrier will continue to operate services from Perth to Albany, Esperance, and Carnarvon and Monkey Mia, while regional airline Skippers Aviation will retain its Perth–Laverton–Leonora and Perth–Wiluna–Meekatharra–Mount Magnet routes.

Rex has proposed increasing seats on Perth–Carnarvon/Monkey Mia by 38 per cent, Perth–Esperance by 22 per cent, and Perth–Albany by four per cent over the current contract. Rex Group’s executive chairman, Lim Kim Hai, said the airline will do its best to “repay the trust of the WA State Government” by putting “maximum priority” on its services in the state.

“The global supply chain shocks and skilled labour shortages, including pilots and engineers, have severely impacted all airlines and therefore I am acutely aware that Rex’s service levels have not matched the very high standards that Rex delivered in WA since February 2016 until the re-opening after COVID,” he said.

“I wish to assure our WA regional passengers that they are still getting the best of what is practically possible as Rex’s On Time Departure over the past 12 months is better than Qantas’ and Virgin Australia’s by 6 and 7 percentage points respectively and better than Jetstar’s by a whopping 15 percentage points. Rex also had the lowest cancellation rate of all the major carriers.”


WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti, who has previously expressed “disappointment” in reliability issues at Rex that saw 42 out of 70 Rex flights to Esperance either cancelled or delayed more than 30 minutes over 10 days in late February and early March, said nonetheless that Rex and Skipper’s long history of providing air services to WA regional residents made them “best placed” to continue.

“There’s no question that recent services, particularly on the Albany and Esperance routes, have not met community expectations, but we are committed to working with our partner airlines to get services back to the high level they once were,” she said.

“The recent disruptions are the result of recruitment and supply chain challenges affecting the entire aviation sector.

“I’ve recently held discussions with Rex to ensure every effort is being made to improve the current level of service, and I am pleased a delegation of Rex senior management will be coming to WA in the next week to develop plans for improving the outcomes for their customers.”

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