A POTENTIAL candidate to fill Tamworth's domestic air travel gap left by Virgin has emerged.
Rex has indicated it is considering a move to Tamworth as part of the company's push to expand into the Australian domestic market.
A Rex spokesperson said the company's potential entry to Tamworth "could save the community over $2M in lower ticket prices" but would have conditions.
"Rex will consider flying into Tamworth if council does not require our aircraft to be screened since there is no such legal requirement," the spokesperson said.
"Failing that, if we are screened then we should not be charged."
Tamworth mayor Col Murray said the council would "welcome the opportunity to have a discussion with Rex about how we might resolve that screening issue in the future."
"Rex obviously have a strong presence in regional Australia and they have proven they have a sustainable business model," Cr Murray told the Leader.
"We've had discussions with Rex in the past and we'd be certainly keen to get discussions going again."
Rex's consideration of Tamworth comes after Virgin opted to leave the city off its flight schedule last week.
After being purchased by Bain Capital last month, the airline released a new timetable of flights as services begin to resume after the COVID-19 lockdown.
Major centres like Newcastle, Coffs Harbour and Byron Bay remain on the list, but Tamworth didn't make the flight schedule.
Cr Murray said attracting competing airlines to Tamworth was vital to keeping regional air travel affordable for the community.
"Rex have historically stabilsed markets across the country," he said.
"I guess the biggest dominating factor when it comes to ticket prices is whether there is a monopoly situation at play or not.
"That's why it is so important we do everything we can to ensure airfares are competitive in our local market."
Virgin's departure from the city currently leaves Qantas and Fly Corporate as the only choice of commercial airlines for locals.