Australian regional carrier Rex said on Saturday (14 August) that it has been forced to “temporarily adjust employment numbers” because of the extended lockdowns and border closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The move to furlough the workers affects about 500 frontline staff including pilots, cabin crew, engineers, airport workers, call centre, ground and Head Office operational staff. This follows the airline’s decision to continue the temporary schedule reductions until 12 September 2021.
The airline has agreed for its flight attendants to share the remaining available work. “This arrangement for our flight attendants is a great example of a pragmatic and unified approach as we grapple with the devastating consequences of lockdowns and border closures which have ravaged the entire aviation industry,” Rex Deputy Chairman John Sharp said. He added that all eligible full-time staff stood down would receive income support from the federal government of $750 a week gross under the Retaining Domestic Airline Capability (RDAC) Assistance if they are not eligible for the federal government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payment.
Rex has consulted with unions and staff and explained why such action was necessary to protect both the business and the long-term job security of all employees, the airline said. “These staffing adjustments will take effect from Monday, 16 August 2021 and remain until 12 September 2021 in the first instance. We will monitor the situation closely and react as necessary,” Sharp said.
Rex is Australia’s largest independent regional and domestic airline operating a fleet of 60 Saab 340 and six Boeing 737-800NG aircraft to 61 destinations throughout all states in Australia. In addition to the airline Rex, the Rex Group comprises wholly owned subsidiaries Pel-Air Aviation (air freight, aeromedical and charter operator) and the two pilot academies, Australian Airline Pilot Academy in Wagga Wagga and Ballarat.