Today’s announcement by REX Airlines that it is suspending flights to Armidale is regrettable but entirely understandable given the impacts of the COVID-19 Corona virus, Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray said.
Council supports the moves REX is taking in response to reduced passenger numbers and the need to safeguard the long-term viability of the company in extremely challenging economic conditions.
“While any loss of transport services to our region is a blow, particularly the air services that are so valuable to our residents and organisations, we recognised the actions service providers must take during the global COVID-19 crisis,” Councillor Murray said.
“Virtually all businesses will be focused primarily on the health and safety of their teams and their customers – and REX is no exception.”
He said Council has a strong working relationship with each of the services providers that operate from Armidale Regional Airport.
“We will work closely with REX, doing everything we can, so its flights can be restored as soon as it is practical, while liaising with the other operators that are continuing to provide regular passenger flights to Armidale,” Cr Murray said.
“We’re confident the level of air passenger services to Armidale Regional Airport will be restored once the crisis and the consequent reduction of passenger movements is over.”
“In the meantime, Council is taking every possible step to minimise any impact the COVID-19 crisis has on the regional airport as a transport and economic hub of the region.”
He said those actions ranged from efforts to minimising disruptions to services, to hygiene measures to further protect the health and safety of airport users.
“There haven’t been any officially reported cases of Corona Virus in the Armidale region and Council is doing all it can, at the airport and with its other services, to help ensure that continues,” Cr Murray said.
“Council continues to provide its services wherever possible. While our customer service areas have been closed to face-to-face transactions, to protect the health and welfare of our staff and the community, our online and phone services ensure we remain open for business.”