Regional Express asks council not to increase passenger taxes

In an open letter to councils and airport owners, Regional Express (Rex) general manager network strategy & sales, Warrick Lodge has warned councils not to take a business-as-usual approach and continue to apply CPI increases on passenger taxes.

Rex wants council to have a moritorium on head tax increases.

Rex wants council to have a moritorium on head tax increases.

Mr Lodge said that the aviation industry was in crisis and that regional carriers did not have the deep pockets of the larger airlines and the support of foreign backers to sustain prolonged periods of financial loss and in regional Australia the situation was even more precarious, as smaller routes had no economies of scale and entailed a less efficient use of resources.

“Air services are no less important than roads and bridges to the socio-economic fabric of the community and yet some councils upkeep the latter at great cost while somehow feeling that airports, gifted to them by the federal government, need to generate profits,” Mr Lodge said.

Mr Lodge is calling for “all stakeholders in regional aviation pull together to ensure its survival” and is asking council to agree to a moratorium on airport head tax increases until regional aviation has recovered.