Qantas, Rex regional turf warfare heats up | Information

Australia’s Regional Categorical (Rex) has waged a disagreement with arch-rival Qantas over the latter’s regional community growth, because it prepares to begin mainline home operations within the coming weeks. 

The bitter tit-for-tat comes as Rex introduced a “main revamp” of its regional community technique, which it claims was prompted by Qantas’ “aggressive, predatory strikes” on regional routes. 

Qantas, which later responded to Rex’s criticism, had on 19 February introduced new routes and extra capability to the northern coast of New South Wales state — the most recent in a sequence of regional community expansions in current months — because it appears to faucet into home journey demand. 

Days later, Rex, whose regional operations are targeted on the Australian japanese states, known as out its rival’s techniques. 

In a press release launched on 22 February, Rex deputy chairman John Sharp didn’t mince phrases: “Qantas has clearly launched into a deliberate technique of shifting into Rex’s routes that may solely assist one regional provider in an try to intimidate and harm Rex in its conventional regional market, hoping that Rex can be a much less formidable competitor within the home market.” 

Sharp provides that whereas Rex will proceed to “stand its floor” on routes that sees it come into competitors with Qantas, it could — “with a heavy coronary heart” — need to discontinue 5 different regional routes by the top of March, when federal funding assist ends.

The provider will even roll out two further regional routes inside the New South Wales state, which compatriot Virgin Australia had vacated. Each the routes — from Sydney to Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie — will see Rex compete with Qantas. 

Sharp notes that Rex can also be mulling the launch of 4 different regional routes the place Qantas “is the only real or dominant provider”. 

The identical day Rex unveiled its regional technique, QantasLink chief John Gissing retaliated, calling the outburst “a traditional Rex tantrum”, including that “it looks like Rex is making an attempt guilty Qantas for different challenges they could be having”. 

Says Gissing: “Rex’s thought of competitors is that it’s one thing that occurs to different folks, as a result of they imagine they’ve an enshrined proper to be the one provider on some regional routes. The actual fact is Rex is receiving hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in bespoke authorities help for its regional operations similtaneously it’s buying new plane to fly between capital cities.” 

Qantaslink Q400

The Rex-Qantas feud isn’t new, however it has intensified in current months amid rising home journey demand, in addition to Rex’s foray into mainline operations, which it’ll begin in March. 

Qantas group chief Alan Joyce had beforehand dismissed the menace posed by Rex on mainline operations, noting that Qantas and its low-cost unit Jetstar have “large scale” in comparison with Rex, and that Rex can be a “lengthy distance behind” in capturing its share of the home market. 

In a subsequent interview with FlightGlobal, Rex chairman Lim Kim Hai says it was clear Qantas was “distressed” by the airways’s imminent home operations. 

“I feel what they wish to do is weaken us within the regional market to hopefully collapse us within the home market,” Lim mentioned earlier within the month. 

In December, Rex lodged a criticism with the nation’s competitors watchdog for Qantas’ “opportunistic technique of flooding the regional airline market with extra capability”, after the latter rolled out a sequence of latest regional routes, most of them out of Melbourne. 

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