Rex says four out of five departures are on time on Orange-Sydney route

FLYING HIGH: Rex has had only 1.2 per cent of flights to and from Orange cancelled in the past six months ahead of launching an extra return flight from January 29.
FLYING HIGH: Rex has had only 1.2 per cent of flights to and from Orange cancelled in the past six months ahead of launching an extra return flight from January 29.

Four out of every five flights between Orange and Sydney are on time, according to Regional Express [Rex] airlines.

A Rex spokeswoman said the number of services cancelled in the past six months was 1.2 per cent.

“For the first half of Financial Year 18 on the Orange-Sydney route, 80.1% of departures operated on-time,” she said.

The figures bettered the national average of  80.2 per cent for on time arrivals and 81.2 per cent for on time departures contained in the latest Domestic Airline on Time Performance [DAOTP] figures for November.

Cancellations represented 1.8 per cent of all scheduled flights. 

Orange airport is not included in the DAOTP report as it does not have two airlines competing on the same route.

The rate of cancellations was also lower than Rex achieved in 2016 when the airline was hit by poor weather including snow in June.

It had achieved a cancellation rate of 0.5 per cent in the first 11 months of the year but then had to cancel 28 flights in June leading to a cancellation rate of 1.5 per cent for the financial year.

Rex chief operating officer Neville Howell said cancellations were partly due to a shortage of pilots.

Mr Howell said changes to visa  requirements for pilots implemented last April had created problems.

“The tighter regulations enacted in April this year have caused havoc on Australian airlines,” he said.

“Most airlines, including Rex, have experienced a doubling of cancellation rates in the past six months.”

He said a relaxation of the visa regulations announced last month, where foreign pilots would be allowed into Australia on two-year visas, was still not enough to attract them to work in Australia and help ease shortages.

The cancellation rate for Orange flights is below the rate of cancellations for many larger airports.

The DAOTP figures show the Dubbo to Sydney route had the highest cancellation rate out of any of the routes in Australia included in the report.

It said 5.3 per cent of the month’s flights on the Dubbo-Sydney route did not go ahead.

Rex has announced an extra return Orange-Sydney flight will operate on weekdays from January 29.

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