ALL Regional Express services to Orange and across the Central West will be shut down from April 6 if it does not have its losses underwritten by governments.
The airline made the announcement on Monday morning that it would abandon all services across Australia, with the exception of Queensland, following an emergency board meeting on Sunday.
REX deputy chair John Sharp said the ongoing coronavirus pandemic meant that there is a "tipping point in the airline business beyond which it will no longer be sustainable to operate reduced services".
"REX is supportive of the strong measures taken by the federal and state governments such as the shutting of state borders and imposing a lockdown within the states as well as discouraging all non-essential travel," he said.
"These measures will definitely reduce the number of infections from COVID-19, prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed and save many lives.
"However, tragically for the airline industry, this means that we can expect the year-on-year reduction of passenger numbers to nosedive to around 80 per cent from the 60 per cent we are experiencing today."
Mr Sharp praised the federal government's promised rescue package for airlines of $715 million, but said the direct benefit to REX from this package is only $1 million a month which was grossly insufficient to cover the $10m a month in losses from operating a heavily reduced schedule.
Passengers with bookings after April 6, 2020 must wait until after March 27, 2020 before writing in via REX's website to put their bookings on credit for a future flight.
No refunds will be offered as is the standard practice of all airlines during this crisis.
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