Rex flights extended

By Isabel Vieira | posted on February 18, 2021

REGIONAL flights between Perth and Albany will continue until at least 2023, with the WA Government granting Regional Express (Rex) an extension of their operating agreement.

The commitment to operate the Perth to Albany and Perth to Esperance routes has been extended by five years, after it was due to expire on February 27.

Rex has the rights to exclusively operate the two routes, alongside piloting the Perth to Carnarvon and Perth to Monkey Mia flights.

Rex General Manager of Network Strategy Warrick Lodge said the company was pleased to be able to continue providing essential regional air services for the foreseeable future.

“This decision provides increased certainty for the Albany and Esperance communities and the benefits of certainty in the current climate cannot be underestimated,” he said.

When travel agencies and airline carriers were first impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, many regional flights which country residents relied upon were grounded.

Rex has now returned to 70 percent operating capacity levels after combating the initial set back of border closures.

Mr Lodge said without the support of the WA Government they wouldn’t have been able to rebuild the Perth to Albany route from four to 14 weekly return flights and four to 13 weekly return flights in Esperance.

“Rex understands the critical importance of regional air services, particularly when local communities are also dealing with the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19,” he said.

The company promised to continue the Community Fare scheme, capping the price of flights for Albany residents at $139 and for Esperance residents at $138.

The McGowan Government has recently announced it will bankroll $19.8 million into a Regional Airfares Zone Cap for other communities currently without a cap on prices, if re-elected at the upcoming State Election.

Residents of other regions would be able to take advantage of cheaper take-offs, with one-way flights within 1,000km of Perth capped at $199 and outside of that range capped at $299.