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Mayor confident Sydney flights secure out of Lismore

DESPITE claims by Regional Express (Rex) airlines that services to and from Lismore airport may be reduced following a review, Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell said she was confident the flights to and from Sydney were secure.

"It's not my understanding that the review is questioning the feasibility in any way," she said.

"I know some information that I can't share with you at the moment, it's up to Rex to talk about (but) I am confident the flights to and from Sydney are secure."

Mayor Dowell said she was contacted by local representatives of the airline several days ago.

On Tuesday, Rex general manager Warrick Lodge wrote to The Northern Star saying the airline was reviewing its services from Lismore.

"In light of falling passenger numbers at Lismore airport, Rex wishes to advise the local community that it is reviewing the Lismore to Sydney service and that a reduction in seat capacity is very likely to better match the reduced passenger numbers," he said.

"The revised flight schedules will be announced in the coming weeks."

Mr Lodge cautioned local councils who are considering the possible sale or lease of their airports as regional air services "are already marginal and extremely fragile amidst the current aviation crisis."

"Operating regional air services is a tough business and since Rex's inception in 2002 we have seen the collapse of more than 10 regional airlines," he said.

But Mayor Dowell said it was "far too early" to comment on the possible sale or leasing of the airport.

"No documentation has even been prepared yet for an expression of interest, and that's the first step," she said.

In a presentation to Ballina council this week, The Airport Group director Hans Pearson said the possible sale, lease or reduction in flights at Lismore airport would be unlikely to negatively affect the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport.

Topics:  lismore airport, lismore city council, regional express



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