The REX air service will boost its flights between Moruya and Sydney, citing a breakdown of its relationship with the Bega Valley Shire Council – with $119 flights on the cards.
In a statement on Friday, September 22, Regional Express (REX) said it would redeploy proposed flight schedule improvements for the Merimbula-to-Sydney route to the Moruya-to-Sydney route.
“Rex will also not proceed with plans to expand the Merimbula to Melbourne service,” the service said.
“On August 4, Rex publicly withdrew its offer to expand its air services from Merimbula to both Sydney and Melbourne due to Bega Valley Shire Council (BVSC) flip-flopping on its position numerous times.
“Rex undertook a full review at its recent board meeting and decided to redeploy the aircraft, crew resources and Sydney airport slots that had been set aside for the Merimbula to Sydney route, over to the Moruya to Sydney route.
“With effect from Monday, October 30, this will see a new dedicated (non-shared) service from Sydney to Moruya at 8.10am and from Moruya to Sydney at 9.30am.
“The current morning service that operates from Sydney to Moruya to Merimbula will operate from Sydney to Cooma to Merimbula. The number of flights between Merimbula and Sydney on Saturday will also be reduced.”
General Manager Network Strategy and Sales Mr Warrick Lodge said Rex had entered into a five-year partnership agreement with the Eurobodalla Shire Council.
“It became the natural choice when additional slots and capacity became available,” Mr Lodge said.
“Rex has also implemented a new $119 Community Fare between Moruya and Sydney.
“The Community Fare will be made available on the new Moruya flights (ZL115 & ZL116) subject to booking class availability outside of 30 days prior and all remaining unsold seats will be made available one day prior to departure.
"We are confident that with the improved services, additional capacity and introduction of the community fare, that the Moruya to Sydney passenger numbers will flourish.”
We’ve heard nothing
Bega Valley Shire Council general manager Leanne Barnes said the council has heard nothing more from Rex about its decision other than through media outlets.
“They withdrew their proposal in August – that’s their prerogative – but after that, council continued to discuss charges and resolved to keep everything the same,” Ms Barnes told Fairfax on Friday morning.
“Mayor Kristy McBain endeavoured to make contact with Warrick [Lodge] following that decision and left messages on his phone, but we’ve heard nothing back from them other than what was on the ABC. There’s nothing in our system this morning [about this latest media release] either.
“We’ve always said that we want to work closely with Rex and Free Spirit Airlines to promote the Merimbula Airport.”