REX Airlines has thrown its hat into the ring and had discussions with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council about flight services for the region.
Rex called for expressions of interest from communities which have been impacted by the suspension of by Virgin Australia routes and confirmed it has been progressing discussions with several cities including Geraldton, Port Macquarie and Canberra.
Rex's general manager for network strategy, Warrick Lodge, said the airline has been in discussions with community leaders and government representatives.
"These communities are concerned about being left with a monopoly airline and the impact this could have on flight schedules and fare pricing, particularly when their local economies have already been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic," Mr Lodge said.
Council has confirmed that it has had discussions with Rex, and other airlines, in its regular ongoing and future planning for flight services in Port Macquarie.
Virgin Australia has suspended its Port Macquarie service as it simplifies its fleet.
Virgin said it would maintain its Brisbane flight on a code sharing agreement with Alliance when it resumes its services, but its new streamlined Boeing fleet would mean its larger aircraft could no longer service Port Macquarie.
A Port Macquarie Airport runway upgrade and associated work in 2012-2013 paved the way for the larger planes.
Meanwhile, subject to state borders opening, Qantas will launch new flights from Brisbane to Port Macquarie operating up to five times per week with the airline's Q400 turboprop aircraft. This will add more than 700 seats on the route each week.
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