REGIONAL Express is back in Armidale, with the first flight arriving from Sydney last Friday afternoon.
An official launch was held at Armidale airport to mark the occasion, with Rex deputy chairman John Sharp promising the community a reliable and competitive air service “that the entire New England region can count on”.
On hand for the occasion were member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall and Armidale Dumaresq councillor Andrew Murat, as well as representatives from the University of New England, and senior staff from local business, educational and community organisations.
Mr Marshall said the arrival of Rex ensured more flights, greater choice and vigorous competition, “welcome news for all passengers”.
He said the competition Rex brought to the route, with 36 weekly flights and 60,000 new seats a year, would be hugely beneficial, but warned it was a case of “use it or lose it”.
“Rex’s re-entrance to the region is made in a climate where regional air services are under immense pressure – the recent collapse of Brindabella Airlines is evidence of this,” Mr Marshall said.
“We must remember that larger regional centres such as Tamworth still have just the one airline, so it’s important that we don’t take this situation (two airlines) for granted. I urge people across the Northern Tablelands to support both carriers, to ensure this region can sustain competition on this route.”