Low airfare extension to bring ‘growth’

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser

Discounted $129 airfares from Perth to Albany will remain in place until at least 2020 after a deal was brokered with carrier Regional Express.

The City of Albany, which manages Albany Airport, has extended its community fare deal with REX to offer the discounted one-way ticket to Perth until 2020.

The same discount also applies on the Perth to Esperance route.

The low airfare is available for passengers booking more than 60 days in advance, subject to availability, as well as being made available on all remaining unsold seats within 24 hours of departure.

Department of Transport executive director of transport strategy and reform Brett Hughes said the deal was a good outcome for commuters and the economy.

“The low fare is the result of innovative thinking and collaboration between Rex, Perth Airport and the regional airports and is a fantastic outcome of industry innovation that will generate growth and real economic benefits for the local community and the regions at large,” he said.

“This long-term partnership agreement between Rex, the local governments and Perth Airport will deliver more competitive airfares to the towns of Albany and Esperance and the broader WA community.”

REX provides 23 flights a week on the Perth-Albany route and 18 flights on the Perth-Esperance route, under a five-year deed of agreement with the State Government.

REX general manager network strategy and sales Warrick Lodge said the airline had already seen 16,000 Community Fares sold in the first full year of the trial of the scheme. “This accounts for some 15 per cent of the total passenger numbers travelling on the Albany and Esperance to Perth routes and represents cost savings of more than $1,264,000 per year for the two communities based on the prevailing average fares,” he said.

“This is the first time that Rex, and for that matter regional aviation in Australia, has undertaken such a revolutionary initiative to make regional air travel really affordable for the discretionary and leisure traveller.”

City of Albany tourism and development services manager Matthew Bird said the City was pleased to enter a three-year partnership with Rex.

“The benefits include the continuation of the promotional community fare at current $129 one-way levels and the continuation of the discounted promotional fares for sale to new holiday and leisure traveller markets,” he said.

It comes as the State Government started its inquiry into the high-price of regional airfares in WA.

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