Rex Welcomes Qantaslink to South Australia
Monday, 31 October 2005

South Australia’s largest regional airline and Australia’s largest independent regional airline, Regional Express (Rex) has welcomed Qantas’s decision to bring Qantaslink to South Australia following the cessation of services by Airlines of South Australia and Emu Airways.

“Rex has always believed in the benefits competition brings to airline services and the commencement of services to Port Lincoln and Kingscote by Qantaslink will fill the gap left by ASA’s and Emu’s withdrawal,” Rex’s Managing Director Geoff Breust said.

“For this reason Rex also brings its services to Qantaslink monopoly ports whenever the conditions are right. Exactly one year ago we responded to the invitation of the Armidale City Council in New South Wales and today we see that airfares there are about 30% below what they used to be. We are continually besieged by other councils, both in New South Wales and Queensland to replicate this successful model and we have promised them to review their requests after our float.”

On Friday, October 28, Rex closed its Initial Public Offer for 35 million new shares at $1 each and is expected to be quoted on the ASX on Wednesday, November 9. Initial estimates are that the offer is approximately two times oversubscribed.

“Rex has been the airline that has brought affordable fares to regional air travel. Our average fare today across our entire network of 33 routes is 20% lower than what it was when we started three years ago. This is after we have factored in a $22 fuel surcharge. We pass back to regional travellers the huge gains we have made in our productivity drive.”

“The entry of Qantaslink into South Australia will not change our approach and we will continue our strategy of making regional air travel reliable and affordable. We aim to further grow our markets by building on the successes we have been able to achieve over the past three years.”

Regional Express operates a fleet of 29 aircraft on 33 routes across south eastern Australia from Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne. It has a major operational and engineering base at Adelaide Airport, operates more than 1,100 flights weekly and is forecasting to carry in excess of 1.1 million passengers this financial year.

Mr Breust said that he believes the closure of Airlines of South Australia and Emu Airways and the commencement of Qantaslink in South Australia would not materially affect the IPO, nor the overall performance of the Company.