ARMIDALE is being reminded not the take the presence of two airlines for granted after Regional Express announced reducing services to the North Coast.
This week REX slashed several marginal routes, which included reducing or dropping services, in Taree, Grafton, Lismore and Newcastle.
While the cuts don’t affect the Armidale service, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall wanted to “jolt the public” into supporting both airlines.
“It is a sobering reminder it is a very tough climate,” Mr Marshall said yesterday.
He said regional airlines Brindabella and Vincent Aviation “had gone belly-up” and to ensure competition remained in the city’s airport, people would have to support the airlines.
“We are bloody lucky,” Mr Marshall said, “Flights are just over $100 now so it is a lot cheaper.”
He said the only way flights could remain cheap was to keep up the strong competition between the airlines.
Passengers going through the airport had increased by 18 per cent since REX commenced services.
Mr Marshall said his conversations with QantasLink revealed its service was going strong while REX was also in a good position.
“I am in regular contact with the management of both airlines and while REX in particular has seen a healthy level of patronage, for the longer term it’s important the numbers stack up commercially,” Mr Marshall said.
He said he uses both carriers for his frequent trips to Sydney and hoped others would give both services a try.