As part of the regular and ongoing review of its network, Regional Express Holdings Ltd (Rex) has today announced plans to terminate all the RPT operations of its wholly owned subsidiary Air Link Pty Ltd.
With effect from 20th December 2008 Air Link will no longer operate the smaller routes currently serviced by 9 seat and 5 seat piston engine aircraft. The routes affected are those linking Dubbo to Bourke, Cobar, Coonamble, Lightning Ridge and Walgett as well as the Mudgee to Sydney run.
Services currently operated by Air Link’s 19 seat Beech 1900 turboprop aircraft from Bathurst to Sydney and Dubbo to Sydney will be upgraded to 34 seat SAAB 340 aircraft to be operated by Rex.
Air Link will continue to operate and develop its charter services in addition to growing its third party aircraft maintenance business.
Rex Managing Director Jim Davis said, “Regional aviation all over Australia is in great jeopardy because of spiralling costs, ever increasing regulatory requirements and the shortage of pilots and engineers. In this climate the very thin routes that Air Link operates out to western NSW do not make economic sense.”
“We are heeding the Federal Government’s advice to prepare for the termination of the en-route rebate by starting to phase out all marginal routes that would not be commercially viable without this incentive. Rex will continue to monitor the situation and make further adjustments as necessary.”
Mr Davis added that these changes were not expected to have any adverse impact on the profitability of the group and would result in few retrenchments as most staff not required by Air Link would be offered positions within the Rex Group.
Customers holding a flight reservation on the impacted routes for travel on/after Saturday 20th December 2008 can call 13 17 13 for a full refund.