REGIONAL Express has cut flights across its network, including in the Central West, and suspended three routes until further notice amid the growing coronavirus pandemic.
Flight capacity will be reduced by 45 per cent, with the first stage of network reductions to commence on April 6.
Dozens of flights across the Central West have been cut, with all routes impacted including Bathurst with the number of weekly return services down from 18 to 12.
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In Dubbo, return services have been slashed from 30 to 18, Orange is down down from 29 to 17 and Parkes has dropped from 18 to 12.
The suspended routes are: Sydney to Armidale, Sydney to Newcastle, and Adelaide to Port Augusta.
REX general manager of network strategy and sales, Warrick Lodge, said the operating environment was extremely fluid and the situation was being monitored closely.
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"If the situation worsens we may be forced to further reduce capacity in the interests of maintaining essential regional air services," he said.
"This capacity reduction alone will not be enough and we have reached out to local councils [airport owners] to seek a reduction in airport charges to keep operating costs to a bare minimum so that the reduced services can be sustainable."
Mr Lodge commended Parkes Shire Council who "proactively approached REX in the spirit of partnership to grant a total waiver of airport charges during REX's hour of need".
"Rex promises to also stand by these local councils in their moment of adversity when Rex is solidly back on its feet," he said.
Meanwhile, two Dubbo flights on Tuesday, March 10 have been added to the coronavirus watchlist due a confirmed COVID-19 case being on board.
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