Regional Express is to cease its Armidale – Sydney services from Sunday 2 July 2006.
Announcing the withdrawal today in Armidale, Rex’s Managing Director, Geoff Breust, said the airline was very sad to have to take this hard decision after almost two years of service to Armidale and the surrounding Shires of Guyra and Uralla.
“Rex is proud of what we have achieved. We have brought passenger numbers from 60,000 to 90,000 per year. We have also introduced low fares making air travel affordable for thousands of regional people.”
“Unfortunately the route is too thin to allow two airlines of quality to service it effectively. Despite our best efforts, the Company has accumulated losses of $915,000 since we began the service in September 2004. As a public company the Board and management have an obligation to address the issue. On balance our annual route review has shown that the most appropriate decision is to withdraw from Armidale and re-direct the resources elsewhere on the Rex network,” Mr Breust said.
Mr Breust thanked the Armidale – Dumaresq Council and the surrounding Shires of Guyra and Uralla for their support for the service. Council assisted the commencement of the service in partnership with Rex as a means of achieving growth in passenger numbers and improvements to the service overall.
He also thanked all those who used the service over the period for their support and custom.
“I pay particular tribute to Craig Ritchie and the staff of New England Travel, our port agents at Armidale, who have provided reservations and ground handling services for Rex over the period. Craig and his staff have done a wonderful job for us and we thank them most sincerely for their efforts.”
“There is no doubt Rex entering the Armidale market almost two years ago was the catalyst for cheaper fares and more people using air services to the city. With that established now, Armidale travellers should see those benefits continue even though Rex will not be providing a service.”
“While we do regret having to take this decision, I would not rule out returning to Armidale at some time in the future if conditions were right,” Mr Breust said.
All passengers holding Rex tickets for travel after 2 July will be offered a full refund or can be re-accommodated on QantasLink flights until 2 October without penalty subject to the availability of seats. Rex passengers should call the Rex Call Centre on 13 17 13 or their travel agent to make arrangements.