Regional Express airline has welcomed the federal government's aviation support package announced on the weekend.
Rex said the comprehensive Regional Aviation Rescue Initiative would ensure critical regional aviation services would continue to be provided amid the worst operating conditions the industry has ever seen.
Under the initiative regional operators can access two funds, the first worth $198 million is to ensure existing Regular Public Transport regional air services can be maintained at a reduced capacity.
The second worth $100 million will help small regional operators overcome the sudden cash crunch brought about by the near drying up of all demand over the last two weeks.
Rex's Deputy Chairman John Sharp said the initiative was an investment in the future of regional communities.
"This meaningful assistance package not only seeks to keep essential air services going, but also tries to prevent the existing regional aviation providers from collapsing," Mr Sharp said.
"Just two days ago a group of eight regional operators (Rex not included) issued an Open Letter warning the DPM that they are within days of running out of cash. With this assistance package, regional Australia can be sure that all previously sustainable regional operators will be able to spring back into business if the crisis dies down within the next six to nine months.
"With the network of regional aviation operators intact, not only will thousands of jobs be saved but regional communities can retain a minimum of vital air links which can be quickly expanded to assist the regional communities in their rebuilding efforts after the crisis."
With passenger numbers down 85pc on pre COVID-19, Rex was about to announce the total shutdown of its network and stand down 90% of staff before the government intervened.
Rex said in the next two days it will put out its new national network schedule based on passenger numbers, Federal Government criteria for access to the assistance package and state government priorities on subsidised routes.
Rex said there would be a koint decision with QantasLink on which carrier services each of the 10 competitive routes which include Townsville to Mount Isa. .
Mr Sharp said the assistance packages will help avoid 30-40% of Rex's staff from being stood down.
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