LOCAL anger against Regional Express (Rex) has skyrocketed after the airline announced this week it would dump its frequent flyer program.
The announcement came less than a month after the carrier shocked the local business community by cancelling its troubled Griffith to Melbourne route.
Frequent flyers were informed their Rex Flyer membership would not be renewed in an emailed newsletter on Wednesday.
Making the news even harder to take, a series of photos of a cake-cutting ceremony, celebrating the airline’s new Mildura route, appeared below the announcement.
Management consultant Richard Rudkin, who lives in Yenda, called the email “tactless at best”.
A member of Rex Flyer, Mr Rudkin estimated he had caught 500 Rex flights to and from Griffith in the past six years.
“I think this is another illustration of a monopoly organisation’s disregard for its clients,” Mr Rudkin said.
“Rex continues to illustrate that it doesn’t care much about us as customers, it cares about money but not much else.”
Mr Rudkin said Rex should feel a sense of duty to the Griffith community because it was the only carrier currently servicing the city.
In its statement to members on Wednesday, Rex blamed the government’s “draconian” measures for cost increases amounting to more than $5 million per year.
“In order to ensure that the majority of its regional network continues to be serviced, Rex has to implement a series of radical initiatives to reduce the cost base,” the statement read.
“One of the most painful we are compelled to take is the termination of the Rex Flyer program.”
Reward flights will need to be used within six months of the date they were earned.
Riverina MP Michael McCormack was issued a warning in parliament last week for making snide comments about the cancellation of the Griffith to Melbourne route while transport minister Anthony Albanese was speaking.
Mr McCormack, who is a Rex Flyer program member, told The Area News on Wednesday the airline’s decisions were disappointing but he understood the company’s need to make money in difficult economic circumstances.