Regional air services safe under new deal
It comes after the airline last week threatened to shut down all Queensland Regular Public Transport services from April 1, saying the government had failed to make the concessions needed to keep those routes viable as the COVID-19 crisis slashed takings.
The company said last night its new agreement involved provision of a reduced schedule under a variation of the existing service contract that covered the Northern 1 and 2 routes, the Western 1 and 2 routes
and the Gulf route.
The reduced schedule will see all communities on these routes receive
at least one return service a week.
Rex said the COVID-19 pandemic had completely destroyed the commercial viability of these routes under the original service contract, with passenger numbers plunging by up to 95 per cent on most routes.
The reduced schedule will be completely underwritten by the Queensland
Rex has also applied for funding from the Federal Government and says this would see the five routes increased to 85 per cent of services if successful.
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,” Mr Bailey 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."