Impact Publications : MiceBTN_61
MICEBTN - NovEMBEr 2015 • Page 39 WESTErN AUSTrALIA rex, Skippers each okayed for two WA services wITh Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA) out of the picture and planning to sell its fleet of Fokker 50s, Regional Express Airline (Rex) has been selected as the preferred tenderer for the WA government-regulated routes of Perth-Esperance and Perth-Albany. The new service will begin in February. “Subject to final negotiations, Rex will enter into a con- tract with the Department of Transport to operate the routes for the next five-year licence period commencing 28 February 2016,” Rex said. Transport minister WA Dean Nalder said the Espe- rance route would benefit from frequent flights and capacity to carry more passengers. “The airline’s substantial experience, customer service and efficient transport operations are highly regarded,” Nalder said. VARA will operate the last flight to Albany and Espe- rance on Feb 27 because, the carrier’s Virgin Australia parent says, it’s losing money. Meanwhile, Skippers Aviation will continue to service the Perth-Carnarvon/Monkey Mia and Perth-Northern Goldfields airline routes beyond February 27, 2016 when current agreements are due to expire. To ensure seamless continuation of air services, the government will extend the current airline arrangements on the two regional air routes which include the towns of Laverton, Leonora, Meekatharra, Mount Magnet and Wiluna, until June 27, 2017. Nalder said the extension of the agreement with Skippers would provide a robust solution until longer term air service route ar- rangements are fully considered and finalised. Flights on both airline routes are expected to remain unchanged. The new Rex service to Esperance and Albany will begin in February.