Comments from QantasLink CEO John Gissing:
This is a classic Rex tantrum.
Rex’s idea of competition is that it’s something that happens to other people, because they believe they have an enshrined right to be the only carrier on some regional routes.
The fact is Rex is receiving millions of dollars in bespoke government assistance for its regional operations at the same time as it’s acquiring new aircraft to fly between capital cities.
It feels like Rex is trying to blame Qantas for other challenges they may be having.
We don’t start routes if we don’t think they will be commercially viable for us.
We know that extra capacity and lower fares increases overall travel demand, which is good news for the regional communities we will be operating to.
We’ll be reviewing our network and consider whether we can offer services on any of the routes that Rex is threatening to pull out of.
- Since the start of the pandemic the Qantas Group has announced 26 new routes to reflect new travel demand patterns. Only eight are on routes that REX currently operate and they remain the largest carrier on all of these routes.
- Qantas only operates on one of the five routes REX says it is exiting (Adelaide-Kangaroo Island).
- As distinct from REX, Qantas has not been acquiring new aircraft types and setting up entirely new operations in the middle of a pandemic, while at the same time receiving (relatively to their pre-COVID revenue and earnings) large amounts of government support.
- The majority of government support received by the Qantas Group went directly to its people who were literally grounded with no work, through JobKeeper. All other support (which was provided to all airlines) went towards maintaining critical passenger and freight connectivity, bringing stranded Australians back home and offsetting a range of government charges on the industry.