Rex pilots on strike disrupt services

INDUSTRIAL action on the part of Regional Express Airlines (Rex) pilots yesterday led to one service out of Grafton being majorly delayed and at least two flights cancelled in other parts of Australia.

According to the Australian Federation of Air Pilots the industrial action came as a result of increased overnight trips away from home.

"Members have been left with little choice but to exercise their right to take industrial action," AFAP executive director Simon Lutton said. "If we thought another option was available to us, we would take it."

"While Rex gave some positive signs this week, it took a lot to even reach that point, and they are still well short of the lifestyle guarantees we are seeking."

It is understood Rex has been sending pilots interstate on trips of up to five nights - an occurrence that has increased since early 2015. According to the AFAP this has a severe impact on pilots' work/life balance.

"We understand that some time away from home is part of the job, we are simply seeking to set limits to give pilots some guarantee of work/life balance," Mr Lutton said.

"Our proposals still give the company flexibility to roster multiple overnight trips, just with some sensible limits in place."

A spokeswoman for Rex confirmed that negotiations between the company and the peak pilots body were ongoing.

"Passengers whose flights have been disrupted by pilot industrial action were given the option of a refund or change at no cost if they chose not to travel on their intended flight," she said.

"Rex has not received formal notification by the AFAP of any future proposed industrial action.

AFAP spokesman James Lauchland confirmed that there is no future action planned at this stage.

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