Airlines vying for our custom

Regional Express is offering sale prices between Merimbula and Sydney. Photo Denise Dion
Regional Express is offering sale prices between Merimbula and Sydney. Photo Denise Dion

As the country opens up, the airlines are hoping to lure back customers, and that means domestic travellers could be the winners as airlines compete for our custom.

With Qantas and Rex (Regional Express) servicing Merimbula, there is competitive pricing between Merimbula and Sydney.

Qantas launched sale prices which end October 25 at 11.59pm with fares to and from Merimbula starting from $129 each way across the following travel dates: November 22 - December 17, 2021, January 17 - March 31, 2022 and April 27 - June 23, 2022.

In the meantime Rex has unveiled its plans to increase capacity and reinstate suspended services on key NSW regional routes from November 15.

Rex also announced a range of $99 sale fares with "no Christmas holiday blackout dates to celebrate the re-opening", Rex deputy chairman, John Sharp said.

The $99 fare with no blackout dates is available from Sydney to NSW regional centres including Albury, Armidale, Dubbo, Griffith, Orange, Merimbula, Moruya and Wagga Wagga.

"Rex will also significantly increase capacity on these routes from November 15 with daily return flights to Sydney replacing the two to three flights a week the airline operated to maintain essential services during lockdowns," Mr Sharp said.

"Our commitment to remote and regional NSW communities has never been stronger and we are delighted we can now help even more family and friends re-connect and allow Christmas holidays to be booked with confidence," Mr John Sharp said.

"The resumption of flights will also provide a much-needed boost to local economies, stimulate regional tourism and help businesses ravaged by the pandemic to recover more quickly.

"I have no doubt our competitors will rush to copy our ground-breaking initiative as Rex will once again have triggered a seismic change in the aviation industry which will benefit hundreds of thousands of passengers," Mr Sharp added.

He said that Rex passengers could book with confidence because they were protected by the company's refund guarantee policy against any COVID-related disruptions.

Mr Sharp said that all Rex front-line staff, including pilots and flights attendants, are fully vaccinated from November 1.