13 AUGUST 2009
Australia’s largest independent regional airline, Regional Express (Rex), today announced that
it will commence services between Townsville and Mackay from Thursday 1 October 2009.
Announcing the introduction of the airline’s inaugural Northern Queensland service, Rex
General Manager Network Strategy and Sales, Mr Warrick Lodge said 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. 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.” Mr Lodge added.
The new Rex service will be operated with the highly successful 34-seat SAAB 340 turboprop
aircraft. For the first time the two communities will have 3 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. Convenient Saturday and Sunday flights
are also provided. (See Schedule below.) The standard, fully inclusive entry level one-way web
fare between Townsville and Mackay will be $129.00.
“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 of Townsville and
Mackay,” Mr Lodge said.
Townsville Airport Chief Operating Officer Kevin Gill said the airport applauds the decision by
Rex to make the region their inaugural North Queensland service.
“This is not only great news for Townsville but for North Queensland tourism generally and the
addition of 60,000 seats into the region annually is a significant investment. The additional
capacity will offer our local residents an increased availability to fly direct to Mackay for both
their business and leisure travel, and at the same time encourage visitors from the Mackay
region to come and explore the sights of Townsville and our surrounding areas.”
“We look forward to working with Rex and congratulate them on their significant commitment to
the region,” Mr Gill said.
Townsville Mayor Cr Les Tyrell welcomed the new service. “This a major boost for both cities,”
Cr Tyrell said.