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Rex continues regional cuts until late October

written by Adam Thorn | February 2, 2024

James Lusher shot this Rex Saab 340B, VH-KRX in 2018.

Rex has blamed supply chain issues caused by COVID-19 for its decision to extend cuts to regional Saab services until 27 October.

The reductions, announced last year and due to end on 31 March, mostly involve scaling back the frequency of flights and are listed in full at the bottom of the page.

They include services from Sydney to Coffs Harbour, Orange and Port Macquarie, Melbourne to Wagga Wagga and Port Lincoln to Adelaide.

Rex’s general manager overseeing network strategy, Warrick Lodge, said, “Rex is committed to the rebuilding of its regional network and intends to return to the standard flight schedules from 27 October 2024, subject to the situation improving.”

The airline added that the supply chain issues are heavily affecting the provision of spare parts, especially aircraft engine parts.

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Rex is one of many carriers globally that has struggled with both a shortage of staff and parts caused by COVID-19 restrictions.

Across the industry, shortages of staff and parts combined with school holiday getaways saw the worst delays on record in April, June and July 2022. Today, delays remain well below the long-term industry average.

According to the latest monthly statistics, across all airlines, just 65.2 per cent of flights departed on time in December, far worse than the long-term averages of 82.2 per cent on-time departures and 2.2 per cent cancellations.

However, Transport Minister Catherine King has suggested both Qantas and Virgin must take more responsibility for the poor figures.

Speaking in December, she pointed to the November numbers for delays and said, “Given these very disappointing results, it is no wonder that so many Australians remain fed up with our major airlines.

“Like all Australians, the government wants an aviation sector that supports our nation’s way of life, and this means services need to be reliable, competitive and affordable.”

Minister King said the government’s Aviation White Paper, to be released in mid-2024, will “set the scene for the next generation of growth and development across the aviation sector”.

“This will include consideration of how we can better protect the interests of consumers, whether that be a stronger ombudsman model or other measures implemented in overseas jurisdictions.”

In full, Rex reductions:

Frequency reductions, effective from 30 October 2023:

  • Sydney–Albury
  • Sydney–Coffs Harbour
  • Sydney–Griffith
  • Sydney–Narrandera
  • Sydney–Orange
  • Sydney–Parkes
  • Sydney–Port Macquarie

Rex will continue to temporarily suspend services between Sydney and Armidale.

April 2023-announced frequency reductions:

  • Cairns–Bamaga
  • Sydney–Broken Hill
  • Broken Hill–Adelaide
  • Sydney–Wagga Wagga
  • Melbourne–Wagga Wagga
  • Mount Gambier–Melbourne
  • Whyalla–Adelaide
  • Port Lincoln–Adelaide
  • Ceduna–Adelaide

The suspension of flights between Adelaide and Mildura will also continue.

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Comment (1)

  • One hopes that “temporarily suspend services between Sydney and Armidale” means they will resume one day.

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