Rex - Regional Express (ZL, Wagga Wagga) has announced it will cancel all Sydney Kingsford Smith-Taree services effective January 27 over a disagreement with the airport operator. The airline will also drop its Dubbo-Cobar route effective December 29.

"The Taree route is loss-making for REX however, the impetus to withdraw from the route originated from the Mid Coast Council’s refusal to supply a three-phase power outlet to the airport apron (an investment of less than AUD1,000 (USD770)) when REX was prepared to invest AUD23,000 for a new three-phase Ground Power Unit that would improve operating efficiencies and reliability on the route," REX’s general manager, network strategy & sales Warrick Lodge said in a statement.

Lodge also complained that the regional authority has previously invested AUD4.2 million in the Taree airport without consulting REX, the sole operator, regarding its needs.

The Australian regional airline currently operates a daily service between Sydney and Taree via Newcastle Williamtown using Saab 340B equipment. After January 27, the service will terminate at Newcastle.

FlyPelican (FP, Newcastle Williamtown), a regional competitor, has already announced it intends to take over the Sydney-Taree service after REX's withdrawal, Manning River Times has reported. FlyPelican plans to operate the route 13x weekly with a smaller Jetstream 32 equipment. The airline believes that by offering higher frequency and smaller capacity per flight, as well as by eliminating the intermediate stop at Newcastle it can make the service more attractive and profitable.

REX will also terminate its Dubbo-Cobar route, currently operated 3x weekly by its subsidiary Air Link (LZ, Dubbo) using Beech 1900D equipment. This decision will leave Cobar airport without scheduled passenger traffic.

"Air Link has operated Regular Public Transport air services between Cobar and Dubbo with connections to Sydney since August 2015 under a close working arrangement with local stakeholders in Cobar. These arrangements have recently been concluded which has led to the air services being withdrawn. Air Link will continue to provide engineering support for Air Link’s fleet of aircraft as well as the Regional Express Group aircraft and third-party maintenance for private aircraft," spokeswoman Jessica Makarewitsch told ch-aviation.