Regional Express (Rex) has announced the introduction increased flights between Cairns and Townsville from July.
Rex will introduce three return flights each weekday between the two cities from July 6, 2015, increasing the number of services from 2 to 34 flights per week.The airline initially began flying the route in January this year, offering one flight on Saturdays and Sundays.
Currently, QantasLink is the only other airline offering weekday flights on the Cairns – Townsville route.
Rex general manager for network strategy and sales, Warrick Lodge said the Cairns-Townsville service was expected to result in a $4 million saving in airfares a year for both communities.
“Ever since Virgin Australia exited the Cairns to Townsville route in January 2014, Rex has been heavily solicited by businesses and individuals to start a competitive air service so that the prevailing monopolistic pricing may be broken,” he said.
The addition of weekday flights on the route continues a period of significant expansion for Rex in Northern Queensland. The airline started its contract with the Queensland governemtn on five regulated routes on January 1, 2015, launching a new Cairns – Bamaga service in March, and commencing flights between Cairns and Mount Isa most recently.
The new service between Cairns and Mount Isa will operate four-times-weekly, departing Cairns at 06:30am, and arriving into Mount Isa at 08:35am. The return flight will operate from Mount Isa at 18:30pm, arriving back into Cairns at 20:30pm.
"The expansion plans into Northern Queensland are both exciting and ambitious. Today's inauguration of the much needed direct service between Cairns and Mount Isa closely follows our earlier launch of daily services to the Northern Peninsula Area (Bamaga) from 30 March 2015, added Warrick Lodge.
Rex plans to provide other communities of far North Queensland and the Torres Straits with an opportunity to work in partnership with the airline to ensure their communities has a sustainable, reliable and safe air service.
“I urge everyone to give us a fair go so that the benefits are long lasting and more services can be introduced over time,” he added.