Regional Express will be shutting down passenger flights to and from Griffith as part of a wide-spread move to shutter all their passenger services due to falling passenger numbers.
The move comes after an emergency board meeting on Sunday, with operations due to stop from April 6 and leaving Griffith Airport with no passenger flights heading into or out of the city - after EastWest and Sharp Airlines paused flights last week.
The company cites a dramatic decrease in passenger numbers over the last week as their reasoning for the closure, with restrictions put in place to reduce the impact of coronavirus taking effect.
Passengers who have booked through the company for a flight after April 6 will need to wait until March 27 before contacting the company through their website to move their credits to a future flight, with no refunds being offered.
Rex deputy chairman the Honorable John Sharp AM said while the company is supportive of the measures taken by federal and state governments to discourage non-essential travel, the decision to shutter flights is one which needed to be made to help the company stay afloat.
He said the company is willing to reconsider their plans should either the state or federal government be willing to underwrite the losses.
"There is a tipping point in the airline business beyond which it will no longer be sustainable to operate reduced services," Mr Sharp said.
"We believe that with only 20% of our passenger numbers left we have reached that point and the Rex Group has decided that the quasi-suspension of all services at this stage presents the best option to preserve its cash.
"If an assistance package of sufficient magnitude and viability can be negotiated by the end of the week, Rex may be able to reconsider its plans to suspend services."
Mr Sharp said while the government has promised a rescue package to airlines totaling $715 million, Rex is only due to receive $1 million a month from the package.
Mr Sharp said the amount is "grossly insufficient" to cover an expected $10 million in losses the company is to lose running a heavily reduced schedule.
"Regional air services provide an invaluable and priceless contribution to the socio- economic well-being of local communities throughout regional and remote Australia," Mr Sharp said.
"Failure to achieve any traction in this regard will see regional communities lose their air services for many months ahead and even after this is all over, we are afraid that some of the more marginal communities will no longer have an air service."
Rex will continue passenger operations in Queensland as flights in the state are underwritten by the state government as well as charter contracts with mining companies, freight services and pilot training academies in Victoria and New South Wales.
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