Rex Airlines will deliver more flights in regional Western Australia in collaboration with the state government; helping to support recovery in tourism-reliant regional areas impacted by the CCP virus pandemic.
From Aug. 31, Rex will deliver several new services per week to Albany, Esperance, Carnarvon, and Monkey Mia (Shark Bay).
The additional services complement those announced in June when the number of services doubled on the Albany and Esperance air routes, and Carnarvon increased from 3 to 5 flights.
“It’s initiatives like these that help in the recovery of the aviation sector and play an important role in getting local businesses and the tourism sector back on track,” said Premier Mark McGowan in a media release.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Western Australia had a bumper year in tourism—breaking visitor records and delivering on the premier’s promise to diversify the economy through tourism.
“Coming out of the pandemic we’re more fortunate than any other state or territory in the country, and we need to use our isolation to our advantage,” said McGowan noting it was essential to rebuild WA economy and get people back into jobs.
Rex General Manager Warwick Lodge said: “In partnership with the WA state and Commonwealth governments, Rex is pleased to be increasing the number of flights in WA because we understand the importance of these flight increases to the socio-economic wellbeing of regional WA during these times of uncertainty.”
Rex passenger numbers are growing strongly after the significant drop that came following government restrictions put in place to stem the outbreak of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, back in March.
“We hope that the increased frequency of flights and improved schedule convenience will aid in assisting the economic recovery,” said Lodge in a media release (pdf).
Communities in the region have responded positively to the offer of discounted fares with more 1,870 fares sold in July, more than double the 914 sold in June.
The state’s Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the new increases to regional air services is excellent news for locals who now have more choices for flying.
“While flights haven’t quite returned to pre-COVID schedules, we are well on our way to improving aviation services to and from the regions, which is providing more choice and flexibility for regional residents,” said Saffioti.
As part of the state’s recovery plan, Western Australians have been encouraged to “Wander out Yonder” and support local tourism operators amid the pandemic and restrictions of travel.
“Reports from the State’s regional destinations indicate Western Australians are taking local holidays in high numbers—supporting local tourism operators, small businesses, and regional economies,” said Tourism Minister Paul Papalia.
“These additional flights, available to locals and visitors, provide another incentive for people to experience some of the amazing adventures WA has to offer—with Monkey Mia, Carnarvon, Albany and Esperance all offering unique local holiday options.
The minister said securing more affordable flights is a crucial priority for many regional areas that rely on the tourism sector.
“We are continuing to negotiate with a number of airlines on new partnerships for further destinations,” Papalia said.
Rex (Regional Express) is Australia’s largest independent regional airline operating a fleet of 60 Saab 430 aircraft (pre-pandemic) on some 1,500 weekly flights to 60 destinations throughout Australia.