ALL SMILES: Grafton resident Susan Hay. The only thing she is happy to say goodbye to at the airport is the stopover at Taree.
ALL SMILES: Grafton resident Susan Hay. The only thing she is happy to say goodbye to at the airport is the stopover at Taree.

Direct flights win a fan

GRAFTON resident Susan Hay at Grafton Airport on Thursday on the way to see her grandson in Sydney, and with direct flights coming she said she will be there more often.

"I'm very happy about it," Mrs Hay said.

"That stop at Taree, it slows things up a lot, doesn't it?

"You'll get more use of the airport now that there are direct flights to Sydney.

"I think the stopover was a deterrent, if anything.

"People won't drive all the way to Coffs Harbour if they can get direct flights."

Mrs Hay said one of her friends would avoid Grafton Airport because they had children and it was faster to fly out of Coffs Harbour.

REX announced on Tuesday that flights leaving from Grafton Airport to Sydney would no longer stop in Taree.

Morning and evening flights will be direct, while one flight each day will travel via Lismore.

A REX spokeswoman said the price of flights to Sydney would remain the same.

Rex chief operating officer Neville Howell said "after two years of steep profit decline, the airline's profits plummeted by 75%".

"Several routes on the NSW network carry heavy losses and the situation is no longer tenable," he said.

"The board had ordered a review to either drop or reduce services on our most marginal routes.

"Management was able to gain board approval to maintain services to all routes but with capacity reduced to better match demand.

"To improve operating efficiencies, some routes are being linked with another port."

REX FLIGHT SCHEDULE

Grafton to Sydney

Departure 7.30am Arrival 9.30am Direct: Monday to Saturday

Departure 8.45am Arrival 11.15am stopover in Lismore: Monday to Friday

Departure11.35am Arrival 1.05pm Direct: Saturday

Departure 4.55pm Arrival 6.25pm Direct: Monday to Friday, Sunday

Sydney to Grafton

Departure 7am Arrival 8.35am Direct: Monday to Friday

Departure 8.45am Arrival 11.15am stopover in Lismore: Saturday

Departure 2.05pm Arrival 4.35pm stopover in Lismore: Monday to Friday, Sunday

Departure 5.45pm Arrival 7.10pm Direct: Monday to Sunday

New schedule will come into effect October 27.



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