Rex heads for North Queensland
Regional Express (Rex) is to begin services between Townsville and Mackay from Thursday 1 October 2009.
Announcing the introduction of the airline’s inaugural Northern Queensland service, Rex's
general manager network strategy and Sales, Warrick Lodge remarked that “Rex was excited by the potential for regional air services in Queensland”.
“Rex’s subsidiary company Pel-Air Aviation has been successfully providing specialist charter
services for Barrick Gold between Townsville Airport and Osborne Mine, near Cloncurry, since
February 2009 and this provides an excellent platform to service the regional communities with
regular air services,” Lodge explained. “Rex has been rated the best regional airline in the world and we are happy to be able to bring our proven model of affordable airfares, reliable service and old-fashioned country hospitality to North Queensland for the first time.
“Townsville and Mackay are wonderful cities and Rex is looking forward to building local
relationships in the region. We have so far employed 13 of the former MacAir staff and we
intend to take in more of the retrenched staff as our operations grow,” Lodge added.
The new service will be operated with the airline's 34-seat Saab 340 turboprops. For the first time the two communities will have three return flights every week day except Wednesday, allowing both the Townsville and Mackay business communities to spend a full day at their destination and return home for the night. Saturday and Sunday flights are also provided.
“Rex has been working closely with Townsville Airport and the local community and we have
been very encouraged by the level of support that has been received. This support has been
integral in Rex’s decision to launch the new service that will add some 60,000 annual seats
between Townsville and Mackay. The additional seats, convenient timetable and affordable
pricing will bring about significant economic and social benefits for the cities,” Lodge noted.
Townsville Airport is the gateway to North Queensland with more than 1.5 million passengers
passing through the airport annually. The region has a strong business focus but is increasingly building its profile as a leisure destination as the local tourism product continues to expand.
Commencement of the Rex service is subject to all regulatory approvals being received.