REX AIRLINES SLAMMED FOR LEAVING REGION ‘UP IN THE AIR’ AGAIN

REX AIRLINES SLAMMED FOR LEAVING REGION ‘UP IN THE AIR’ AGAIN

Photo caption: Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and angry and bitterly disappointed by the announcement that REX will not resume air services between Armidale and Sydney next month.

Tuesday, 6 February 2024

REGIONAL Express (REX) Airlines has been slammed today by Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall for failing to honour its public commitment to the region to return passenger services between Armidale and Sydney next month, announcing late Friday it won’t return to the route before October this year.

“I’m angry but not surprised that REX has not honoured its promise to return air services our community and region,” Mr Marshall said.

“Rather than offer up warm platitudes and more false hope, I’d much prefer REX just be upfront with the community be honest about its future here. If you’re not coming back, just say so – don’t keep jerking our chain, on a promise.”

Mr Marshall noted that since REX had pulled out of the region last year, citing pilot shortages, the airline had announced and commenced additional air services between capital cities, including, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

“Clearly REX does have surplus pilots, as I’m sure these additional intercity flights and planes aren’t flying themselves,” he said.

“It appears to our community that REX is expanding its high-traffic intercity routes, at the expense of vital regional services.

“I certainly hope that REX does return to our region once more, but the harsh reality is, the longer the period without services, the less chance of them resuming.

“I sincerely hope I am wrong, but I fear that looking at my miniature REX plane model might be the closest I ever get to seeing the real thing siting on the Armidale Regional Airport tarmac.”

Mr Marshall said REX’s decision was made even more disappointing given the consistent support it received over many years from Armidale Regional Council and the travelling public.

“This decision leaves just one airline servicing the Sydney route and I remain concerned QantasLink will take the opportunity to price gouge and jack-up flight prices,” he said.

“When QantasLink previously held a monopoly, we were faced with unreasonably high fares, in some cases up to $1,200 return – for a flight time of a little over an hour.”

REX said its suspension on several routes would be in place from 31 March 2024 until 27 October 2024.

“I will be doing everything I possibly can to ensure this REX service is reinstated and that airfares remain fair and consistent,” Mr Marshall said.

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