Rex is dropping four regional routes from Sydney and another from Adelaide, but plans to add two new destinations from Sydney to bring competition to those markets.
At the end of March, Regional Express’ flights from Sydney to Bathurst, Cooma, Grafton, and Lismore are all axed, with Adelaide-Kangaroo Island (Kingscote) chopped as well.
These routes, described by Rex as “marginal”, are currently supported by the Australian Government’s Regional Airline Network Support program. The program concludes at the end of March 2021, aligning with Rex’s exit from these markets.
“It is with a heavy heart that we are announcing the cessation of services to (these) five routes,” said Rex Deputy Chairman John Sharp.
Come April, Rex will instead direct its efforts to two new regional routes: both from Sydney.
This includes flights to Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie, which will go on sale from February 23 for travel from April 2021.
Rex claims these are “ports where Virgin Australia has retreated, leaving Qantas as the sole or dominant operator.”
These comments follow Virgin Australia’s exit from the Sydney-Port Macquarie route in September 2020, although the airline continues to serve Port Macquarie from Brisbane via its partner Alliance Airlines, and still flies between Sydney and Coffs Harbour, too.
Other regional routes are also on the cards for Rex, with Sydney-Tamworth, Perth-Geraldton, Melbourne-Devonport and even Sydney-Canberra all under “active consideration”.
Rex will also commence jet services between Sydney and Melbourne on March 1.
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