Friday 3 March 2017
Bega Valley Shire Council and Regional Express airlines (Rex) have welcomed today’s news that the Merimbula to Sydney air route has been deregulated by the NSW Government.
The news coincided with a meeting between Council and Rex in Sydney.
Mayor, Kristy McBain and General Manager, Leanne Barnes discussed the future of local air services with the Executive Chairman of Rex, Lim Kim Hai, Chief Operating Officer, Neville Howell, and General Manager Network Strategy and Sales, Warrick Lodge.
“Both organisations are working towards a positive future for local air services following the deregulation,” Cr McBain said.
“There is a collaborative spirit around identifying and then growing local opportunities.”
As the owner of Merimbula Airport, late last year Council invited community submissions on deregulating the air route ahead of today’s announcement.
“The response from residents and the business community was clear,” Cr McBain said.
“People want to travel by air and see deregulation as making that more possible.
“Rex has a long history of serving this region and both organisations see a shared future that builds on that reputation,” Cr McBain said.
Rex General Manager, Network Strategy and Sales, Warrick Lodge said “Rex has always publicly advocated for the deregulation of all licensed NSW routes so Rex is pleased that the Government has finally heeded Rex’s views.
“The meeting with Cr McBain and Ms Barnes was the first step in building a good partnership and I would like to thank Cr McBain for reaching out to Rex to initiate this process.”
Cr McBain thanked Mr Lim, Mr Howell, and Mr Lodge for their time and perspective and said she looked forward to future discussions as plans progress and opportunities become apparent.
Photograph: Merimbula Airport