The airline Regional Express has announced the introduction of a new “Rex Community Fare” Scheme for its direct Mount Isa – Cairns route.
The $198 “Rex Community Fare” will be made available on up to 30% of seats on every direct flight between Mount Isa and Cairns if booked at least 30 days prior to departure.
In addition all unsold seats one day prior to departure will be available at the Rex Community Fare level.
The airline said this scheme would provide the community with access to affordable fares when planning travel in advance or, more importantly, when last-minute travel is required, when fares can be at the highest.
The Rex Community Fare is available to anyone, and unlike the recently introduced Qantas residents fare does not require proof of residence.
Rex has partnered with Mount Isa Airport which will reduce airport charges for each Community Fare sold through until June 30, 2018.
Rex said it would commit to extending the Community Fare beyond June subject to the continuation of the arrangement with Mount Isa Airport.
“Regrettably, Cairns Airport is not willing to support this initiative, which was designed to assist the less fortunate,” the company said in a statement.
Cairns Airport Chief Commercial Officer Aviation, Paul McLean, said he has been in ongoing discussions with Rex on how Cairns Airport might most effectively work with them on the community airfares initiative.
“Airport charges are a small portion of total airfare and travel costs,” Mr McLean said. “Cairns Airport charges $13.62 for an arriving passenger and $16.45 for a departing passenger. For comparison, the cost of a taxi from Cairns Airport to the city is around $25.”
Rex said it was rolling the Community Fare Scheme across its Australian network to provide regional and remote communities with more affordable air travel.
Steve Jones, Rex’s State Manager for Queensland said residents of regional communities were more reliant on, and exposed to higher transport costs than those living in larger population centres.
“Rex’s primary mission is to provide safe and reliable air transport at affordable fares to regional Australia,” Mr Jones said.
“The Rex Community Fare helps to achieve this and will bring significant socio-economic benefits to the residents of the beneficiary communities”
Kevin Gill, Mount Isa Airport Chief Operating Officer said they have long supported the calls for reduced airfares in regional Queensland.
“We commend Rex on this initiative and are happy to support for the benefit of the local community.,” Mr Gill said.
The Rex Community Fare is available for purchase via www.rex.com.au.