Due to the continuing dramatic decline in freight volumes, Regional Express (Rex) will be discontinuing all of its Metro 3 freight services. The services remaining will now be operated by Saab 340 aircraft, which can carry freight more efficiently and economically than the smaller Metro 3s. Three Saab 340 freighters have already been placed in service.
The last Metro 3 freight run will operate on 29 May 2009. Rex has commenced phasing out the Metro freighters and has announced to staff that in total some 20 pilots and 4 ground staff will no longer be required.
Rex has not announced any retrenchment of pilots for its regular passenger operations, but cannot rule out such a possibility in the next six months if the current deterioration in the industry continues.
Commenting on the retrenchments, Managing Director Jim Davis said, “Unfortunately the dramatic drop in overnight freight volumes has meant that our customers have cancelled contracts and as a result we have been forced to restructure our freight business. Sadly, this has resulted in unavoidable redundancies amongst the pilots and for some ground staff.”
Regional Express (Rex) is Australia’s largest independent regional airline operating a fleet of 40 Saab 340 aircraft on some 1,300 weekly flights to 24 destinations from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. The Rex Group comprises Regional Express, air freight and charter operator Pel-Air Aviation and Dubbo based regional airline Air Link, as well as the pilot academy Australian Airline Pilot Academy.