Rex - Regional Express (ZL, Wagga Wagga) has rejected allegations that its employees were told to ignore faults in its aircraft, saying that claims outlined in a report by the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers’ Association (ALAEA) merely came from a “disgruntled engineer”.

Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph published details of the report, which alleged poor safety culture at the airline and accused it of disciplining one engineer for pointing out corrosion in a propeller shaft. The ALAEA submitted its report to Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), advising it to ground Rex’s fleet.

"The so-called 'report' is, in fact, a complaint letter from the union to CASA and is not an analysis by an independent third party examining facts and making findings," Rex protested in a statement dated July 3.

It added that the regulator had conducted "five extensive audits" of Rex since February 2018, examining all aspects of its safety management system and aircraft maintenance. In addition, Rex had met with CASA on at least nine occasions since then to provide safety briefings and updates, the statement said.

It then quoted a letter from the authority to the carrier dated May 22, 2019, which said that "the Board and management of CASA have no current safety concerns with Rex. Through the normal oversight processes and interactions undertaken, CASA is satisfied that Rex is currently meeting all its obligations.”

In an earlier statement posted on the carrier's website on June 30, Rex’s Chief Operating Officer, Neville Howell, accused CASA of leaking the report to the media.

“Realising that these baseless accusations are not getting any traction, some are now taking the despicable and cowardly approach of launching anonymous malicious attacks on Rex in the press," he said.

A CASA spokesman denied the leak and said it was investigating the ALAEA report “thoroughly and carefully”.

In March 2017, a Rex flight en-route from Albury to Sydney Kingsford Smith was forced into an emergency landing when a propeller on Saab 340B VH-NRX (msn 291) detached mid-flight. No one was injured in the incident.