“A classic Rex tantrum”: Qantas hits back at criticism of its regional strategy

Melbourne, Australia - November 8, 2014: QantasLink Boeing 717-2BL aircraft VH-YQT on approach to Melbourne International Airport.

Qantas has returned serve after being criticised by rival Rex over its “aggressive, predatory moves” on regional routes.

As it prepares to take on Qantas and Virgin Australia on domestic routes from next month, Rex announced yesterday that it will embark on a major revamp of its regional route network in response increased competition by the flying kangaroo since the COVID-19 pandemic.

While standing its ground on routes that Qantas has encroached on, Rex has decided “with a heavy heart” to scrap its Sydney-Bathurst, Sydney-Cooma, Sydney-Lismore, Sydney-Grafton, and Adelaide-Kangaroo Island services once the federal government’s Regional Airline Network Support program is discontinued at the end of March.

“Qantas has clearly embarked on a deliberate strategy of moving into Rex’s routes that can only support one regional carrier in an attempt to intimidate and damage Rex in its traditional regional market, hoping that Rex would be a less formidable competitor in the domestic market,” Rex deputy chairman John Sharp said.

“Qantas is making record losses during COVID and has received an estimated $1.2 billion in Commonwealth assistance to stay solvent, but despite this, feels it is appropriate to use taxpayers’ funds to finance the losses on new services whose sole objective is to weaken the competitor.”

However, Rex will start operating on the Sydney-Coffs Harbour and Sydney-Port Macquarie routes from April following Virgin Australia’s retreat from these ports.

The airline is also considering the addition of Sydney-Tamworth, Perth-Geraldton, Melbourne-Devonport, and Sydney-Canberra services.

Rex is also calling on the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission to take enforcement actions against Qantas over its “predatory” behaviour.

In response, QantasLink CEO John Gissing described the criticism towards the flying kangaroo as “a classic Rex tantrum”.

“Rex’s idea of competition is that it’s something that happens to other people, because they believe they have an enshrined right to be the only carrier on some regional routes,” he said.

“The fact is Rex is receiving millions of dollars in bespoke government assistance for its regional operations at the same time as it’s acquiring new aircraft to fly between capital cities.”

Gissing said it appeared Rex was trying to blame Qantas for other challenges the airline may be having.

“We don’t start routes if we don’t think they will be commercially viable for us,” he said.

“We know that extra capacity and lower fares increases overall travel demand, which is good news for the regional communities we will be operating to.

“We’ll be reviewing our network and consider whether we can offer services on any of the routes that Rex is threatening to pull out of.”

QantasLink CEO John Gissing (image source: YouTube/Bombardier)

Gissing’s comments come shortly after Qantas revealed it will add three new routes and extra seats to the NSW north coast to support growing demand for holidays in Australia.

From 1 April 2021, Qantas will begin Melbourne-Coffs Harbour, Brisbane-Coffs Harbour and Canberra-Byron Bay (Ballina) flights, as well as adding 500 extra seats on the Sydney-Coffs Harbour route each week, along with the option to travel in business class.

Featured image source: iStock/Ryan Fletcher

Latest News

  • Aviation
  • Products

Luxury fashion house Missoni adds amenity kit to Delta One experience

Italian luxury fashion house Missoni will soon be part of the Delta One experience with a new customer amenity kit. Missoni – a brand well known for its creative use of colors and patterns – will elevate Delta One with the new amenity kit and top-of-the-line details woven into key touchpoints throughout the Delta One […]

  • Cruise

Viking Cruises special 8-day cruise rate

Viking cruises is providing a special offer on its 8-day Rhine Getaway itinerary for November 2024 departures with a strictly limited basis. The cruise takes guests out to discover the charm of old-world Europe as they sail through Netherlands, Germany, France, and Switzerland. The itinerary includes visits the turreted fortresses, grand cathedrals, and medieval towns […]

  • Cruise

Variety Cruises launches “Sell Three, Sail Free in Tahiti” promotion for travel advisors

The family-run, small-ship cruising company, Variety Cruises, has introduced an incentive for travel advisors booking holidays on the company’s Tahiti and French Polynesia cruises. To win a free cruise for two people, the promotion requires advisors to sell three cabins on Variety itineraries in Tahiti booked by 15 September, 2024 and through to 30 April, […]

  • Cruise

Viking is gold sponsor of 2024 Saxo Scandinavian Film Festival, presented by Palace Cinemas via Val Morgan Cinema

Viking has announced it will be a gold sponsor of the 2024 Saxo Scandinavian Film Festival presented by Palace Cinemas via Val Morgan Cinema. The festival, now in its 10th year, showcases the best Nordic contemporary cinema from international film festivals including Göteborg, Cannes and Berlin. The sponsorship provides Viking with the opportunity to connect […]

  • Hotels

The Dorchester rooms and suites

The Dorchester has unveiled additional rooms and suites with a new butler program to enhance guest experience, marking another milestone in its renovation. The portfolio of the world’s foremost luxury hotels and residences, Dorchester Collection, has refurbished room interiors to continue its commitment to reinvent tradition. The Dorchester’s interiors, re-envisioned by interior design firm Pierre-Yves […]

  • Events

Bastille Festival 2024

Residents and travellers can immerse themselves in the vibrant spirit of France as Bastille Festival Sydney returns with a jam-packed program to ignite the Paris Olympic spirit. The annual four-day celebration brings the spirit of France to the heart of Sydney in honour of French Bastille Day. It commemorates two significant events in French history: […]

  • Aviation

Air Astana donates upcycled aircraft furniture to Almaty Airport

The Air Astana ‘Upcycling for the Future’ project involves the creative recycling of used aircraft parts, with furniture having been previously exhibited at various locations across Almaty since 2022.   The aim of the Air Astana project is to promote sustainability and reduce environmental impact. Air Astana Group is the largest airline group in Central […]

  • Conferences
  • Travel Agents

New Zealand’s biggest business event marks Matariki

Matariki, the Māori New Year has been celebrated at a spectacular event for MEETINGS 2024 buyers at Rotorua Airport last night (Wednesday, 19 June). RotoruaNZ Business Events and Coast Group presented a special dinner with supporting partners Rotorua Airport, Terrace Catering, Event Impressions and The Production Agency. The evening featured a stunning 12-minute light and […]

  • Tour Operators

Albatross Tours’ feeling Festive as it guarantees remaining places for Christmas 2024 tours

European tour specialists, Albatross Tours, has guaranteed every tour for Christmas 2024 is a goer. “The Albatross festive program has established itself as a real favourite for Australian travellers. We have a fabulous choice of Christmas market locations – Berlin, Dresden, Prague and Ljubljana are just a few,” managing director Shelley Poten said. The all-inclusive […]