Australia’s Rex says engineers, flight attendants agree to new contract deals

Asian Aviation
(PHOTO: Rex)

Australian regional carrier Rex said it had signed new industrial agreements with two key sections of the airline’s workforce. The new Enterprise Agreements (EAs) were overwhelmingly endorsed by both the airline’s Domestic Flight Attendants and Regional Express Aircraft Engineers. In separate ballots held over the last two weeks, 75 percent of flight attendants and 92 percent of engineers voted in favour of the new enterprise agreements. The enterprise agreements, which were finalised after 18 months of negotiations, will run for three and four years respectively and include pay rises for both groups.

“The board is delighted with the strong endorsement and support from the staff groups which is reflected in the way we are not experiencing the extreme chaos the other major carriers are facing,” Rex Executive Chairman, Lim Kim Hai, said. “We are at the final stages with other Enterprise Agreements and we are planning to put these out to a vote soon.”

Rex is Australia’s largest independent regional and domestic airline operating a fleet of 61 Saab 340 and 7 Boeing 737-800NG aircraft to 58 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.

A Rex official said the airline plans to add more 737s within months, giving it enough jets for a nationwide network of intercity routes as it seeks to steal business away from troubled Qantas Airways. Rex, best known for flying small propeller-driven aircraft between regional towns, is fast building out a new jet division plying busy domestic routes including Sydney-Melbourne. The tiny airline is carving out market share partly because it’s proving more reliable than Qantas, which is beset by post-pandemic flight cancellations, delays and lost bags, according to media reports from Australia.

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