Rex Postpones Cape Services in Northern Queensland

The move comes after the airline applied to use a Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) mechanism to start stopgap flights to the area with the emergency arrangement, following the sudden closure of Queensland-based Syktrans.

Regional Express (Rex) has announced it is deferring its plans for Regular Passenger Transport services to the Cape York communities of Northern Queensland.

The move comes after the airline applied to use a Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) mechanism to start stopgap flights to the area with the emergency arrangement, following the sudden closure of Queensland-based Syktrans.

Skytrans administrators, Bentleys Chartered Accountants, refused to sign off the move, leaving the Cape York communities affected by the sudden shut down of Skytrans without an alternative.

“The Charter Substitution Arrangement requires a sign-off by the Skytrans Administrator as a formality and it does not carry any liability, risks or responsibility for the defunct operator and its Administrator,” said Warrick Lodge, general manager of network strategy, Rex.

Mr Lodge said that the airline had made its best endeavours to also speak with local councils in the Cape, and they have expressed that they are not yet ready to receive Rex’s services.

“Unfortunately the Administrator has refused to cooperate in signing-off on the Charter Substitution Arrangement, in spite of an offer of full indemnity by Rex and representations made by the Department of Transport and Main Roads,” he added.

The Queensland government has stepped in with some emergency charter services to rescue stranded passengers as the wet season approaches.

Hinterland Aviation has said on Tuesday it hoped to start regular public transport flights from Cairns to Pormpuraaw and Kowanyama from January 21 using 12-seat Cessna Caravans. The airline will need to receive CASA approval to commence the new routes by the middle of next week.

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