Regional Express (Rex) says it was “left with no option” but to extend the suspension of domestic services and reduction of regional services until 31 October 2021.
This will also mean an extension of the stand-down period for Rex staff up until this time.
The airline said the decision to extend the suspension was based on the current rate of COVID-19 infection, the announced intentions of the various state governments concerning lockdowns and border closures, and the need for lead time for advanced ticket sales.
The new date for the resumption of most services will coincide with the date when Rex’s customer-facing staff will be fully vaccinated.
Earlier this month, the airline announced that all of its frontline staff would be required to be fully vaxxed against COVID-19 by 1 November 2021 – the first Australian airline to achieve that goal.
“We have a duty of care to both our passengers and staff to provide the safest possible environment,” said John Sharp, deputy chairman of Rex.
“As we provide an essential service operating to regional centres and remote communities throughout Australia, it is incumbent upon us to do whatever we can to help those residents remain safe and healthy.”
Sharp said Rex would offer the small number of unvaccinated frontline staff non-customer-facing roles wherever available, and unvaccinated office staff will be required to wear a mask while at work.
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