REX Airlines review

CLARENCE Valley mayor Richie Williamson says REX Airlines is vital to the economic and social well-being of the region.

Cr Williamson said he was worried by reports REX was reviewing its operations, which could affect its service between Grafton and Sydney.

“All I know at the moment is that REX has said it was reviewing its services,” he said.

“That said the airline service in the Clarence is important to the economic growth of the region and it’s vital that service continue.

“And the connection to Sydney at our doorstep is socially very stimulating.”

Cr Williamson said the proximity of the Grafton Airport also gave people a viable alternative to travelling on the Pacific Highway.

He said that in the near future he planned to write to REX management to try to make sure the airline continued to service the Valley.

However, Cr Williamson admitted passenger numbers using the service had fallen off after recording a steady increase in passengers in the early days of the REX service.

“Growth has eased in more recent times and that’s a worrying sign,” he said.

“But we as a council will work with REX while this review is going on to try to make sure the airline continues to provide a service for the region.

“I understand Virgin pulled its early morning flight out of Coffs Harbour, so I know that regional airlines are facing difficulties.”

Late last week an airline spokesperson says the company may have to pull out of some of its marginal routes.

The company said rising aviation fuel prices and economic uncertainty will likely result in a 30% fall in the airline’s after-tax profits.

REX is Australia’s largest independent regional airline and currently runs 1300 flights each week to 35 destinations.

The announcement comes at a time when Qantas says it will increase its fuel surcharge by 5% in response to fuel price rises.



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