Tuesday, 5 December 2017

MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall today thanked Regional Express (REX) Airlines for recommitting to its daily service between Armidale and Sydney, describing the statement as “reassuring news” for the region’s economy and residents.

“Recently, there has been some speculation about the airline’s future plans for the Armidale route, but today’s news will definitely put those concerns to bed,” Mr Marshall said.

“Having two airlines flying to Sydney on a daily basis is a vital ingredient to growing Armidale and the broader region.

“The close to 140,000 passengers using Armidale Regional Airport have already felt the benefits this competition has brought over the last couple of years and the community must support both carriers to see these benefits continue.

“I commend REX for its continued support of the region since its first flight out of Armidale in March 2014 and I’m thrilled that this mutually beneficial arrangement will continue well into the future.”

REX General Manager Warrick Lodge said the Armidale community had supported the company well.

“The Armidale route has shown steady improvement for REX over the years and has almost reached the point where it is commercially sustainable,” Mr Lodge said.

“If the local community continues to give REX a fair go then we will continue to service Armidale.

“We are by far the more reliable airline according to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) and we estimate that we have brought annual savings of over $2 million to the community by our reasonable airfares which in turn force the competitor to keep their airfares down.”

Mr Marshall said all regional airlines could be assured of the region’s credentials as a stable and profitable destination.

“Armidale is not only in the final stages of a $10.5 million airport terminal expansion, but our region is growing and passenger numbers through the airport have increased consistently in the last three years,” he said.