Regional Express (REX) is continuing the rollout of its community fares. Yesterday it announced it was extending the scheme to its King Island flights.
King Island is an island in the Bass Strait approximately 250 kilometres south of Melbourne. The island’s population is about 1,500.
And for an island with a small population, King Island has surprisingly good air links.
REX offers a daily return service to the island from Melbourne’s Tullamarine. In addition, Sharp Airlines has double daily weekday return flights from Launceston, Burnie and Melbourne’s Essendon airport. Sharp’s weekend services drops back to a single daily return. Local competitor, King Island Airlines flies twice daily to Melbourne’s Moorabbin airport on weekdays and once daily on weekends.
Earlier in 2019, there was an Australian Government Senate Inquiry into the cost of regional air fares. Airlines, particularly Qantas, came in for some sharp criticism.
For several years, REX has been reasonably proactive in rolling out its discounted community fares program. King Island is the 38th town it offered community fares. In recent months both Qantas and Alliance have announced variations of the community fares program to towns around Australia.
One of the several barriers to reducing fare costs into regional towns are airport fees charged by local airport operators (usually the local council). REX notes the introduction of community fares to King Island has come about because the airline has been able to negotiate reduced airport charges with the local council.
Undoubtedly Sharp Airlines will match REX’s fares into King Island.
REX is offering a certain number of community fares on each flight to and from King Island when purchased more than 30 days prior to flying. In the final 24 hours prior to the flight, all unsold seats on the plane will be sold at the AUD$99 community fare price.
Community fare bookings can be made via the REX website.