Regional Express (Rex) has reversed a decision to suspend its Queensland operations following a “last-minute” intervention by the state government.
The regional airliner will resume its services on April 1 on a reduced scheduled to be introduced on all five routes registered with the Department of Transport and Main Roads the following day.
Rex executive chairman Lim Kim Hai said while a final agreement had not yet been reached with the TMR, the company would run its reduced service in good faith until April 8, after which the total suspension of operations in Queensland “may still proceed”.
The NSW-based airline last week announced cessation of passenger services in all states except Queensland and flagged regional airlines could collapse because of plunging demand amid the crippling coronavirus pandemic.
Airlines have been particularly cruelled by the COVID-19 outbreak amid tightening quarantine measures and enforced social distancing practices, forcing them to cut services, ground aircraft and stand down thousands of staff.
Virgin Australia has already cut its workforce by 80 per cent and its domestic capacity by 90 per cent.
Qantas has stood down 20,000 – or two-thirds – of its workforce and slashed international and domestic travel to help it absorb the virus blow.