Hello again! Welcome back to one of my posts!
Today, we will be discussing Australia’s Aviation Industry and the feud that currently has a grip on many regional routes throughout Australia.
Chapter 1: The COVID Effect
We begin where what seems like so many years ago… November 2019 (or thereabouts). A ‘mysterious flu’ is detected in Wuhan, China; the world doesn’t seem too phased. Fast-forward a couple of months and the world starts shutting down… Aircraft are stored away, like unsold toys just after the Christmas season. Airlines are in recovery mode, after loosing millions of dollars every month, governments are providing funding to what seems like everything. People are locked away, sitting out the harsh world that’s outside.
Then… Well, we aren’t up to there yet. Our story isn’t over.
Chapter 2: Australia and Tourism
COVID-19 seemed like that bug that would go away in a few weeks, you know, like TikTok. Unfortunately though it’s still here, annoying almost everyone that had any plans of going anywhere. Australia didn’t see much of the apocalypse that the rest of the commonwealth, and the rest of the world for that matter, had seen. With the most cases recorded in one day reaching, at most 715. The tourism industry had ground to a hault, with the focus of repatriating stranded Australians now at the top priority.
Tourism is one of the biggest industries that Australia has! That’s why we’d rely on people like you, the international community, to spend a few dollary-doos down under. As the first wave had passed, campaigns began, the largest being the "Holiday Here This Year" - a great campaign at that. That was until the second wave has come along and ravaged any plans… Again.
Now though? Well, we’re on our way up…
Chapter 3: Regional Travel
As we came to realise the great benefits of travelling locally, airlines realised that they could capitalise on this amazing opportunity. That is, until you move onto another’s turf… QantasLink, Qantas’ regional arm, began flying a multitude of regional routes, mainly out of Sydney. From Sydney to Orange, to Sydney to Broken Hill. These routs seemed to make sense to all except one little REX.
Now, Regional Express has been operating small routes out of Sydney, Melbourne and Outback hopping in Queensland for decades. They’re vital to the small communities that they serve so well. Now, REX didn’t like Qantas’ move to smaller regional routes that they’d had a monopoly on for years, which is fair enough. Some of Qantas’ routes were told they couldn’t operate by Australia’s competition watchdog, as they were deemed ‘too anti-competative’ - again, fair enough.
This was in the early days of Qantas’ feud with REX… Thing’s get more interesting as we approach 2021…
Chapter 4: The REX Effect
As March comes into sights, Regional Express will begin operating some capital city routes with their newly-bought Boeing 737-800’s. This is quite a big deal, for both REX and the consumer. It was also a big deal for Qantas, which dominated the routes for years. REX made a massive public announcement, including 100,000 tickets selling for $50 (dollary-doos, of course) in economy… $50 seems like nothing, but flights in Australia are really quite expensive, the average price for a flight between Sydney and Melbourne goes for around $150 in economy, at its cheapest.
This isn’t the end though. Qantas begins encroaching into markets like never before. Recently they announced direct services from the regional city of Coffs Harbour to Brisbane and Melbourne. Soon after, REX announces flights from Sydney to Coffs Harbour to bring competition to a very Qantas-dominated market - and for really cheap too!
Current prices for a Sydney/Coffs flight on QantasLink are $149, on Virgin it’s $125 and on REX? $118. This is really good competition for Qantas, and is great for the tourism industry!
Chapter 5: The Feud
Qantas and REX have had a few feathers rustled, with each CEO taking stabs at eachother’s airline. REX has recently cut some routes once government subsidies for them to keep running run out, and has blamed Qantas for this, calling their new routes an “intimidation tactic” and “anti-competative.” Qantas thrashed back saying that this was “a classic REX tantrum” and that,
“Rex’s idea of competition is that it’s something that happens to other people, because they believe they have an enshrined right to be the only carrier on some regional routes.”
All the meanwhile, Virgin Australia is sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the show. 🍿
Thanks for reading through my topic! I hope you enjoyed reading through something like this! It’s definitely something different.
I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this weird subject.
All the best,