Extra flights returned to southwestern routes
AIR services are slowly being returned to rural communities, with Regional Express airlines announcing an extra weekly flight on both its Western 1 and Western 2 routes in southwest Queensland.
The additions mean two weekly flights will run on each route, providing transport for essential workers and goods; they come after a brush with full cancellations statewide, and the subsequent deep cuts to all services at the beginning of this month.
Extra funding from the state government has bankrolled the extra flights, alongside money from the federal government's Regional Airline Networks Support package.
Regional Express deputy chairman John Sharp said the federal and state funding was the reason the company was still in the air at all.
"With the Commonwealth assistance packages for regional carriers in place, we are confident that we will be able to help all regional communities who are willing to work in partnership with us to rebuild their regional air services to their full potential over the next two years," he said
"Rex will stand by all regional communities that have stood by Rex during this global and national crisis.
"Regional Australia owes the government a great debt of gratitude for providing funding to ensure that it continues to receive minimal essential air links to the capital cities for medical, professional and other essential travel needs.
"Without this intervention, many smaller regional communities would risk not having any air services at all for at least six months.
"Those in Queensland should also acknowledge the contribution of their state governments in funding more services."
With the new changes in place, both western routes will have two services per week: one under federal funding, and the other under state funding.
Rex's Western 1 route connects Brisbane to Toowoomba, St George, Cunnamulla and Thargomindah; Western 2 services Toowoomba, Charleville and Quilpie along its route.