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Regional centres continue to endure reduced Rex services

The airline has blamed supply chain issues for its latest long-term schedule adjustment, as Matt Lennon reports.

Rex Airlines will maintain reduced service frequencies on many turboprop flight routes, the airline announced today.

Back in September, the regional specialist blamed Qantas and Virgin Australia for “their relentless pillaging of Rex’s pilot group” which led it to reduce frequencies on numerous services initially only between 30 Oct and until “at least” 30 Mar.

Rex said today these suspensions will now be continued until 27 Oct this year, marking almost a full year that the regional cities and towns affected have endured the service cuts.

This time though, Rex has laid the blame at ongoing dislocated supply chain issues from the pandemic which it says continues to wreak havoc on the provision of aircraft spare parts, particularly engine components.

Rex’s General Manager of Network Strategy, Warrick Lodge, said the airline was committed to rebuilding its regional network and that it intends to return to standard flight schedules once the current service reduction period has elapsed.

At the same time, Rex took its now-customary swipe at Qantas and Virgin Australia, saying Rex will always reduce services if it doesn’t have the resources to operate them, instead of selling tickets for “phantom flights” and then cancelling them at the last minute.

“Rex finds such deliberate last-minute cancellations to be unconscionable as a cancelled flight can bring about untold hardships to the affected parties including having money tied down for months if indeed the refunds materialise,” Lodge said.

Lodge’s comments reference Qantas’ current Federal Court action being taken by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission along with a recent report from the Australian Travel Industry Association which highlighted the prevalence of airlines routinely cancelling flights for commercial gain.

“Rex never cancels a flight last-minute for expediency or for cash flow purposes or to hoard airport slots and this explains why Rex’s cancellation rate is 600% to 1,000% lower than its two larger competitors,” Lodge continued.

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