Rex claims a rise in fares is needed

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
Regional Express airline wants to increase its Community Fare between Albany and Perth.
Camera IconRegional Express airline wants to increase its Community Fare between Albany and Perth. Credit: Laurie Benson

Regional Express airline has warned an increase to its discount Community Fare is necessary to maintain low-cost tickets.

Rex has requested the City of Albany approve a $10 increase to its low-cost $129 fare, after high demand for the cheap tickets hit Perth-Albany profits.

Rex carried a record 60,900 passengers between Albany and Perth between January, 2018, and January, 2019, of which more than a quarter booked the discount fare.

“The fare collected by Rex is $66 excluding airport charges and 10 per cent GST,” a Rex spokeswoman said.

“When the low price of the Community Fare is combined with the large numbers being sold, it is placing a strain on sustainability of the Community Fare initiative.”

The carrier is half-way through a three-year contract with the City to offer the low-cost tickets, but in December it warned that could not be maintained without a price increase.

The council will vote on the proposal tonight.

If approved, the $10 ticket increase could mean more than $160,000 extra in sales a year, based on 2018-19 figures.

As part of a proposal by the City’s governance and risk manager Stuart Jamieson, the City would annually negotiate ticket prices for the deal based on Perth industry price increases.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show the average national cost for transport increased about six per cent from December, 2016, to December, 2018 — just short of the increase Rex has requested.

The Community Fare is available for up to 30 per cent of seats booked 60 days prior to the flight and all unsold seats within 24 hours of departure.

It is about $100 cheaper than other Rex flights booked outside those periods.

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