DISCOUNT: Lower fares for residents in regional Queensland are being rolled out by Regional Express Airlines.
DISCOUNT: Lower fares for residents in regional Queensland are being rolled out by Regional Express Airlines. Bev Lacey

CHEAP FLIGHTS: Locals set to benefit from resident fares

TRAVELLERS from across the southwest could soon see a small reprieve in ticket prices, as Regional Express Airlines rolls out its national Community Fare Scheme around the southwest.

The airline officially announced the rollout last week, and has confirmed towns along its two western routes - including Cunnamulla, Thargomindah, St George, Charleville and Quilpie - will benefit from cheaper tickets.

"Rex has been rolling out the Community Fare scheme since mid-2016, and it has been very successful throughout Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania,” a Rex spokeswoman said.

"Before the scheme was introduced, the best price between Cunnamulla and Brisbane was $255.

"The Community Fare between Cunnamulla and Brisbane is now $185, while flights between Cunnamulla and St George, Thargomindah or Toowoomba Wellcamp will also be cheaper.”

The new fares are being given a six-month trial in outback Queensland and north Queensland, meaning residents will have to book and fly before January to take advantage of the lower prices.

Should the trial be successful, it is likely the airline will retain the scheme in the bush, but it will need to meet certain requirements.

"Thin passenger numbers, long flight lengths, flights combined with multiple destinations, and high operating costs associated with servicing remote areas all add to the price of regional tickets,” the spokeswoman said.

"So we will need to see sufficient increases in total passenger numbers to support the lower ticket prices.

"But the company believes the Community Fare scheme can be successful in Queensland too, why is why we are undertaking the six-month trial.”

Even though the lower prices are only being trialled, frequent travellers are welcoming the move, and can see the benefits it will have in the community.

"We like anything that will make travel cheaper for our residents, and appreciate having Rex to service our community,” Paroo Shire mayor Lindsay Godfrey said.

"There are so many people in our region who are travelling for work or for medical treatments, and I can certainly see it helping them.”


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