Regional Express (Rex) today announced it will cease operating its single daily service from Devonport to Melbourne from Monday, 19 September 2005.
At the same time the airline announced an improved schedule for its Burnie service and its strong commitment to the North West Coast.
Rex Managing Director, Geoff Breust, said today that while the airline regretted making the decision, it was the result of commercial reality.
“Our services to Devonport have not been profitable at anytime since we commenced back in August 2002. This last financial year saw falling loads and revenue and unfortunately we have little option but to withdraw.
“Market competition, high levels of available seat capacity, the impact of deep discount fares and direct services by the larger airlines from Launceston to both Melbourne and Sydney have combined to make it that much more difficult to sustain the service.
“Rather than maintaining loss-making services to a regional community which is well served with airlines, seat capacity and cheap fares, we would prefer to use the resources to provide a better level of service to the other 30 destinations on our network.
“Rex has a strong commitment to the North West Coast and as a result of this move we are able to revise our schedule to improve the timings of our Burnie services.
“This means earlier Burnie departures and arrivals each morning. From 19 September Rex’s morning departures from Burnie will be at 6.30 and 10.05am. Flights into Burnie in the morning will arrive at 9.35am instead of the current 10.05am.”
“Rex will retain its 36 flights per week and will have the opportunity to increase frequency and capacity on the Burnie route when needed.
We also retain our commitment to our holiday program which features the State and the North West Coast wilderness areas in particular,” Mr Breust said.
“We have selected 19 September because it falls outside the forthcoming school holiday period and provides sufficient time for our customers to make alternative arrangements. All passengers who have bookings on our Devonport services after 19 September will be re-booked to our Burnie services at times of the passenger’s choice without penalty. For those not wishing to make the change to Burnie, a full refund of fares paid will be provided on application,” Mr Breust said.
Customers with any queries or want to change their bookings are requested to contact the Rex Call Centre on 13 17 13 or their travel agent with their itinerary details.
“I would like to thank all those who have supported Rex over the last three years and on behalf of the Board, management and staff of Rex, I particularly thank the Devonport Port Corporation Ltd and the Devonport City Council for their assistance and support.
“I also pay tribute to Stuart Richardson, Simon Finlay and all the staff at North West Travel, who have been our contracted ground handling agents at Devonport Airport, for their professional and dedicated service to Rex customers.
“While this may be the end of a chapter in the Rex / Devonport history, it is not necessarily the end of the story. If conditions change in the future and we see that we could again be of service to the Devonport community we will be very willing to return,” Mr Breust said.
Revised Burnie Schedule effective Monday 19 September 2005
Melbourne to Burnie
ZL3557 0825 0935 123456. MELBWT 0 SF3
ZL3573 1515 1625 12345.7 MELBWT 0 SF3
ZL3577 1905 2015 12345.7 MELBWT 0 SF3
Burnie to Melbourne
ZL3554 0630 0740 123456. BWTMEL 0 SF3
ZL3558 1005 1115 123456. BWTMEL 0 SF3
ZL3574 1645 1755 12345.7 BWTMEL 0 SF3
Revised timings in bold.