Rex threatens to bale out of RPT but will keep flying FIFO and freight

REX has become the first Australian airline to look at shutting down virtually all of its regular public transit air services. It will, however continue the chartered operations it conducts for miners and freight services.
Rex threatens to bale out of RPT but will keep flying FIFO and freight Rex threatens to bale out of RPT but will keep flying FIFO and freight Rex threatens to bale out of RPT but will keep flying FIFO and freight Rex threatens to bale out of RPT but will keep flying FIFO and freight Rex threatens to bale out of RPT but will keep flying FIFO and freight

Rex is looking at grounding most of its RPT flights.

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After an emergency board meeting on March 22, the airline it announced it would shut its RPT in all states except Queensland from April 6 unless the federal and state governments agree to underwrite its losses.

The Queensland exception is because that state's government already underwrites Rex's services.

Besides its RPT services Rex also operates charter contracts with mining companies, freight services, fixed-wing air ambulance services for Ambulance Victoria and offers pilot training at its academies in Victoria and New South Wales. Those operations will continue.

The ending of RPT measure is in response to the business impacts the response to COVID-19 virus has had on its passenger numbers.

Last week the airline announced a reduced schedule as a result of the decline in passenger numbers it was experiencing, largely as a result of COVID-19.

Rex deputy chairman John Sharp said the company supported the strong measures taken by the federal and state governments, including discouraging all non-essential travel.

"However, tragically for the airline industry, this means that we can expect the year-on-year reduction of passenger numbers to nosedive to around 80% from the 60% we are experiencing today," he said.

"There is a tipping point in the airline business beyond which it will no longer be sustainable to operate reduced services."

Sharp welcomed the federal government's $715 million airlines rescue package but said Rex would only get a $1 million a month direct benefit.

That, he said, was well short of the $10 million a month it expected to lose running the heavily reduced schedule it announced last week.

 

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