Regional Express Takes Community Fares To Armidale

Regional Express is continuing to roll out its community fares scheme at a rapid pace. Last week, Oz Traveller gave readers the heads up about the new community fares to Port Lincoln in South Australia.

Now, Regional Express (REX) is adding Armidale to the regional destinations it offers community fares too. Armidale (pop.30,000) is a university city in the New South Wales’ New England region. The small city is just over 500 kilometres north of Sydney, or a six hour drive up the New England Highway.

Armidale will be REX’s 39th community fares destination. Like other community fare destinations, the local council (who operate the local airport) has come on board by either waiving or heavily discounting its passenger taxes at the council operated airport. This enables REX to offer cheaper airfares on the route.

REX’s community fare scheme means 30% of all seats on its Sydney-Armidale-Sydney flights will be available for purchase at the community fare price of AUD$119. These discounted seats will be available up to 30 days before departure. Any unsold seats within 24 hours of departure will also be available at the discounted AUD$119 community fare price.

There is approximately a AUD$40 fare difference between the community fare price and the next available fare type when looking a flights one month in advance.

REX flies Sydney-Armidale-Sydney three times a day on weekdays, twice daily on Sundays, and daily on Saturdays. REX uses 34 seat Saab 340 turboprops with a cruising speed of 505km/hr. Flying time to Armidale is 75 minutes.

As part of its agreement with Armidale Regional Council, REX has made a five year commitment to the route. The agreement follows REX threatening to pull out of Armidale after the council proposed introducing an annual landing fee of AUD$460 per aircraft after the first five. REX’s campaign against high fees at regional airports has been well canvassed in the media and on blogs such as Oz Traveller.

REX has had an on off relationship with Armidale Regional Council over the years. However its exiting the Sydney-Armidale-Sydney route would have left QantasLink the sole operator on it. One way fares between Armidale and Sydney on QantasLink purchased a month in advance start at approximately AUD$200. There were well grounded concerns that QantasLink fares on the route would have risen significantly had REX exited.

REX’s community fares on the Sydney-Armidale-Sydney route are now on sale at www.rex.com.au.

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Categories: Regional Express

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