Charges may affect REX passengers

REGIONAL Express (REX) says it will try to absorb all fees that result from Sydney Airport’s proposal to increase regional charges, but could not promise anything.

Sydney Airport Corporation has applied to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to increase fees for regional airlines using the airport’s T2 terminal.

This is the first time since 2001 the busy airport has increased fees and they are claiming the increase will cover runway and security charges and passenger fees for the T2 terminal.

REX, which flies out of the Lismore and Ballina airports, would be affected by the 2.9 per cent increase.

“They have applied to the ACCCto be granted a regional chargesincrease,” REX managing director Jim Davis said.

“REX will be involved in the process and the impact will be kept to a minimum.

“We will try to absorb what we can, but we cannot always do that.”

Under the proposals, the new fees will include a three cent rise in thesecurity charge, a 13 cent rise in the passenger facilitation charge for the T2 terminal, from $4.50 to $4.63 per passenger, and a runway charge increase of 10 cents.

The announcement also states the increase will only mean a 22 centincrease on a per passenger basis.

Despite the possible marginalincrease, REX – which was voted best airline for customer satisfaction in the Roy Morgan 2010 Annual Airline Satisfaction Report– believes its past contribution to Sydney Airport is something to be considered.

“A point must be made that REX has almost doubled its amount of passengers through Sydney Airport and this needs to be accounted for,” Mr Davis said.

“This has impacted on the revenues of Sydney Airport and on the economies of scale involved.

“There has been no increase since then (2001), but Sydney has the ability to apply for a CPI increase.”

Jetstar and Virgin Blue will beexcluded from the increases as they have separate agreements with Sydney Airport Corporation.

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