POLITICS

Plane travel takes off

LOCAL travellers have been taking to the skies in ever-increasing numbers, due in part to demand for increased convenience and reduced ticket prices. Regional carrier Rex Airlines has reported that in the 2018-19 financial year it carried more than 61,000 passengers between Albany and Perth – an increase of 5.5 percent over the previous year.

Nearly 30 percent of these were community fare scheme passengers. A Rex spokesperson said that this was a great result, as many WA regional air routes were in decline. The airline currently runs 23 return services on the Albany-Perth route each week, with between 10 percent and 25 percent of seats discounted under the company’s community fare scheme. In response to community feedback earlier this year Rex has also reduced the community fare advance purchase period from 60 days to 30.

Unchanged is the company’s policy of allocating all seats unsold 24 hours prior to departure to the scheme. Between them this means that budget flyers can grab a bargain either a month before or in the last 24 hours before they want to fly. Rex says it hopes that the amended scheme will offer greater flexibility and more opportunities for people seeking a relaxing getaway closer to home.

Community fare tickets cost $130 one way. The discount community fare scheme was implemented on the Perth-Albany and Perth-Esperance routes in mid 2016, in partnership with the City of Albany and the Shire of Esperance.

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