Regional Express has lashed out at Qantas again for capacity dumping on domestic travel routes. The latest stoush erupted after Qantas unveiled it would begin flying between Melbourne and Burnie, a way only serviced by Rex.
Rex claims the nation’s largest airline group, which includes budget carrier Jetstar, is dumping extra seats on specific routes to oust the regional service provider.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission confirmed it is looking into allegations of capacity dumping within the aviation sector, which Rex has welcomed.
Rex deputy chairman John Sharp alleges both Qantas and Virgin Australia have flooded the market with additional flights in a “concerted effort” to make it harder for the airline to operate.
“It is unconscionable that Qantas is using taxpayer’s money to finance loss-making operations that have a predatory and anti-competitive impact on the market,” Mr. Sharp said in a statement.
“On the domestic network, we’ve seen a concerted effort by Qantas, Jetstar, and Virgin to increase flights between Melbourne and Sydney in March by an identical 80 percent over February’s capacity, clearly targeting Rex services which launched on 1 March.”
The increased capacity is understood in direct response to the growing demand for interstate travel following the easing of pandemic restrictions.
Rex expanded its network following a $150m cash injection, initially leasing six ex-Virgin Boeing 737 jets, which are being used to fly between major cities.
The airline recently sparked a price war with $39 sale fares in a bid to boost passenger numbers on flights, which have been operating at less than half capacity since launch.
Mr. Sharp also blasted Qantas for apparently using “foul” tactics to avoid paying refunds for canceled flights during the pandemic, claiming the airline owes customers $3bn.