REX: Reduces routes, accuses Qantas of ‘pillaging’ pilots
REX has reduced its servicing of seven routes. It accuses the Qantas Group of continuing their ‘relentless pillaging of Rex’s pilot group.’
The reductions will be applied from 30 October. All the affected routes are usually serviced by Saab 340 turboprop aircraft. These are the routes, all out of Sydney that are affected:
- Sydney-Coffs Harbour
- Sydney-Port Macquarie
That’s not all the reduced routes
Rex is also temporarily suspending some other services:
- Sydney-Armidale – until at least 30 March 2024
- Cairns-Barmaga – withdrawing from this Far North Queensland route
Some other service reductions announced in April will continue for five months at least. This includes flights between Adelaide and Mildura.
“Unlike other carriers, we prefer to reduce the scheduled services so that our passengers can be assured of fewer disruptions and more reliable services. We intend to return to the standard flight schedules from 31 March 2024 – however this is subject to the situation improving,”Warrick Lodge, General Manager of Network Strategy
This is not the first time REX has taken a swipe at Qantas. It regularly does so when it wins monthly ‘reliability’ statistics. In March, it ‘corrected’ Qantas punctuality claims, and not in a very polite way. I suspect it is no party to try and retain pilots when Qantas can probably offer more pay and almost certainly more possibilities for promotion or aircraft training.
REX is, and acts, the underdog. At some stage, it will need to abandon this sort of stance and act like one of the big boys if it intends actually to be a big boy in the industry.
Its Deputy Chairman, John Sharp, needs to abandon those National Party-type tactics. This isn’t the political arena. It’s the airline industry. He’s also an ex-pilot, so facing a shortage that is affecting the airline’s ability to service routes must easily raise his hackles. We need to have more people with airline and aircraft experience on Boards. It would be good if Qantas had one or two.