Rex calls on govts to be discerning in funding regional airport refurbishment

    Regional Express (Rex) called (07-May-2018) on federal and state governments to be “discerning in its funding to regional airports” and “pay close consideration to the economic justification, including the impact of increased head tax that follows”. The carrier further noted that it is “disappointing to see that the majority of the government subsidies for regional airport refurbishment are granted without any inputs from the only carrier which services the airport”, explaining: “This has often resulted in the carrier withdrawing all or part of its services when the airport charges become unviable economically”. Rex also commented that since 2002/2003, the average Rex ticket price only increased by 1.1% p/a. Despite this, the carrier has “seen its operating costs increase significantly, particularly with the costs imposed by Local Government for the essential use of regional airports”. The carrier claimed: “The most significant factor contributing to the escalating airport charges has come about by irresponsible and grandiose spending on regional airports to construct excessive facilities that provide no meaningful improvement to the air service, but add significantly to the operating costs as well as increasing significantly the annual depreciation expense which is then charged back to the airline through increased airport charges”. The carrier claimed such regional airport upgrades are “often facilitated using Federal or State Government funding and they result in the perverse effect of making regional air travel more expensive which directly threatens the viability of essential regional air services”. [more – original PR]