AGREEMENT: Rex reached an agreement with the Queensland government yesterday about air services.
AGREEMENT: Rex reached an agreement with the Queensland government yesterday about air services.

Rex reaches agreement on reduced air services

REGIONAL Express (Rex) announced yesterday that an agreement has been reached with the Queensland Government for the provision of a reduced schedule under a variation of the existing service contract that covers the Northern 1 & 2 routes, the Western 1 & 2 routes and the Gulf route.

The reduced schedule will see all communities on these routes receive at least one return service a week.

These routes were awarded to Rex in January 2015 but the COVID-19 pandemic has completely destroyed the commercial viability of these routes under the original service contract.

The reduced schedule will be completely underwritten by the Queensland Government and will give Rex certainty to operate these essential air services to regional and remote Queensland even with passenger numbers plunging by up to 95 per cent on most routes.

“The Queensland Government understands how vitally critical air services are to remote and outback Queensland on the five regulated routes serviced by Rex and has allocated a considerable budget to further subsidise these communities to provide them with a minimum level of essential air services,” said Rex’s General Manager of Network Strategy, Warrick Lodge

“They are only one of two states in Australia that have risen to the challenge and the Queensland Government has managed to sustain enough air services to meet the minimum needs of these communities during this period of national emergency.

“Rex has also applied for funding from the Federal Government and if successful this would see the five routes increased to 85 per cent of services (see appendix) that were originally provided by Rex prior to the COVID-19 crisis.

“This compares very favourably with other states like New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria that will see only about 5 per cent of their regional air services returning under Federal funding.”

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the government’s partnership with Rex was essential to ensure a minimum level of air services were maintained for the state’s regional and remote communities during the COVID-19 response.

“There are many community members with pre-existing health challenges who still need to travel to larger centres for treatment, or workers who need to travel for essential jobs, so air services are critical to support them,” he said.

“Like many businesses, airlines are doing it tough so I thank Rex for working with us to make sure we continue to provide essential transport options for rural and regional Queenslanders.”

Appendix:

REGIONAL EXPRESS (REX) QUEENSLAND REGULATED ROUTES
SCHEDULED RETURN SERVICES

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Northern 1:
Townsville - Winton - Longreach

1 return 1 return

Northern 2:

Townsville - Hughenden - Richmond - Julia Creek - Mt Isa

1 return 1 return

Western 1:

Brisbane - Toowoomba (Wellcamp) - St George - Cunnamulla - Thargomindah

1 return 1 return

Western 2: Brisbane - Toowoomba (Wellcamp) - Charleville - Quilpie - Windorah - Birdsville - Bedourie - Boulia - Mt Isa

1 return 1 return

Gulf:

Cairns - Normanton - Mornington Island - Doomadgee - Mt Isa

1 return 1 return 1 return 1 return

Routes have been funded by Queensland Government and Commonwealth Government Subject to Approval.


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