17 April 2019
Senator Rex Patrick has labelled Regional Express’ (REX) use of the COVID-19 crisis to force long term airport agreements on local council a disgrace. “I don’t know what REX management is thinking, but their tactics will cause huge reputational damage to the company."
"I completely understand the need for REX to enter into arrangements with governments, airport operators and customers to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, but trying to force an agreement stretching eight years beyond the crisis is totally unreasonable and unconscionable," said Senator Patrick. "No-one, including REX management, can predict what will happen on the other side of this crisis."
"Airports need airlines and airlines need airports. I understand negotiating, but one player laying down an ultimatum to the other, under these conditions, is not right. REX are simply behaving like bullies, and we all know how bullies should be dealt with."
"I fully support the united councils stand in rejecting what they have rightly called “extortion” from REX and I call on the State and Federal Governments to offer similar support. And if that means supporting QANTAS in servicing these long standing REX routes, so be it."
"I understand that air travel is the lifeblood of regional communities, and I know REX does too. They have been a long standing provider to regions in SA, which is why I’m so disappointed they’ve have taken this approach.
"REX has been seeking assistance from governments in relation to the current crisis and governments have been obliging. And then they go and do this."
Senator Patrick has already raised the issue with Federal Transport Minister’s office and will press the matter further today.