Aviation

Aussie airline slams “baseless accusations” about its safety culture and bullying of employees

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

Regional Express (Rex) has hit back at claims it committed serious safety breaches and intimidated employees into keeping quiet about major defects of its aircraft.

A number of media outlets have reported that the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) filed a complaint with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in May against the Aussie airline.

The complaint alleged Rex had committed “serious breaches of safety obligations” which included “coercion, intimidation and bullying of employees” to a point where they were fearful of reporting aircraft defects.

“The apparent discouragement of reporting of maintenance defects has created a circumstance where an unknown number of serious defects may have not been reported and aircraft have operated with a serious and imminent risk to air safety,” the complaint alleges.

After Rex’s share price dropped by more than 10 per cent this morning, the company temporarily halted trading on the ASX to issue its response to the media reports.

In a statement, Rex confirmed the “same wild accusations have been raised by a disgruntled engineer and his union”, first to the Fair Work Commission and then to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

“Realising that these baseless accusations are not getting any traction, some are now taking the despicable and cowardly approach of launching anonymous malicious attacks on Rex in the press,” the airline’s chief operating officer, Neville Howell, said.

“Rex has been advised by the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers’ Association (ALAEA) that it is CASA that is behind the anonymous leaks.

“Rex had already invited senior management of CASA on 18 June 2019 to have a full briefing on the matter, as well as to discuss the professional failings of the disgruntled engineer.”

Howell said Rex’s safety management system was “second to none” and that CASA wrote to the airline on 22 May 2019 to advise that the authority had no safety concerns.

“Rex will not be making any further comments on this matter and we will leave it to the safety authority to judge if our safety culture is lacking in any manner,” he said.

A CASA spokesperson told Travel Weekly the authority “is carefully examining the allegations and now has responses from Rex”.

“We will be asking further questions of Rex this week to make sure maintenance work at the airline is meeting all required standards,” the spokesperson said.

“If any safety issues are found, CASA will take appropriate and timely action. At this point, CASA has not taken any steps which impact on Rex operations.

Travel Weekly has contacted ALAEA for comment.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Tourism

Experience Co. swings to $7.1 million first-half loss

by Huntley Mitchell

The fortunes of Experience Co. have changed dramatically, with the ASX-listed company falling into the red in the first half […]

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Daredevil completes heart-stopping tightrope walk above Hawaiian hotel

A world-renown high-wire walker has made history by completing a tightrope walk between two hotel towers 15 storeys up.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

JAL celebrates two years of Melbourne-Tokyo route by issuing snowboards as boarding passes

Aussie snowboarders looking to shred the slopes of Japan this snow season now have another reason to book their trip.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent Wrap: Visit USA Expo wraps up, Uniworld’s Night of Nights, Silversea rewards agents + MORE!

Get a load of all the smiling faces featured in this week’s Agent Wrap! You’ll be smiling too when you see all the deals and famil offers.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Webjet and Cover-More form new travel insurance partnership

In other news, Travel Weekly’s editor and deputy editor are currently forming a formidable partnership at the crease in the office cricket tournament.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flavour of the Week: SIA’s senior management changes, Accor’s new comms director + MORE!

This week’s flavour is tangy with a hint of fresh industry appointments. Or maybe that’s just the salt and vinegar chips Travel Weekly’s editor was eating while he proofread this article.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Influencer visits IKEA store, fools followers into thinking she’s in Bali

This savvy influencer somehow convinced her followers she was in Indonesia when, in reality, she just took a trip to her local furniture store.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

ACCESS DENIED: Excite’s booking platform is now closed

by Huntley Mitchell

Were you planning on retrieving some booking info from Excite Holidays’ platform? Well, unfortunately you’ve left it too late.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Road & Rail Wrap: DriveAway’s new call centre, Amtrak Vacations sale + MORE!

Yes, it’s our weekly dose of news covering all things on the railway tracks and on the road. We’ve even gone off-road for this wrap!

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Venice uses mobile phones, surveillance cameras to track tourist movements

Be sure to clear your search history before your next trip to Venice, because officials have started gathering mobile data from tourists.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Union slams Jetstar’s claims it bribed strikers

by Ali Coulton

Jetstar claims the union handed out vouchers to strikers as an act of “desperation”, but the TWU says there’s nothing out of the ordinary about compensating workers.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas axes flights across group as coronavirus to hurt FY20 profit

by Huntley Mitchell

Travel Weekly understands Alan Joyce has been forced to take out a loan on his new Maserati, as Qantas delivers some not so good news to shareholders.

Share

CommentComments