Airline Regional Express has been fined $66,000 for allegedly breaching market disclosure rules.
Regional Express (Rex) said it had chosen to pay the fine issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on a no-admissions basis.
ASIC's infringement notice alleged Rex had not complied with continuous disclosure obligations.
The matter stemmed from May last year and related to Rex's consideration of starting flights between big capitals, adding to its wide range of regional routes.
"ASIC found there are reasonable grounds to believe that Rex was in breach of its continuous disclosure obligations from May 11, 2020, to May 12, 2020, by failing to inform the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) that it was considering the feasibility of commencing domestic operations in addition to its regional operations," ASIC said.
"Rex scheduled an interview with the Australian Financial Review and, prior to the interview, considered what could be discussed with the AFR about the proposal to expand into domestic operations."
ASIC said the interview was on May 11 last year, and details of Rex's proposal were discussed.
"Following the release of the article on May 12, 2020, ASX contacted Rex about the article and Rex was placed in a trading halt," ASIC said.
"Later that day, Rex disclosed to ASX that it was considering the feasibility of commencing domestic operations."
IN OTHER NEWS:
ASIC said listed companies were required to immediately disclose material information in certain circumstances.
"This includes when that information loses confidentiality, for example, when a journalist becomes aware of it," it said.
"Continuous disclosure of information protects the integrity of the market by ensuring investors are provided with equal and timely access to information about an entity."
Rex said it maintained it had complied with its disclosure obligations at all times and would continue to do so.
It said the issuing of the infringement notice and its compliance with it were not an admission of liability.
Rex flies to 61 destinations across all states.
It is best known in Tasmania for operating on the Burnie-Melbourne route.
Qantas recently announced it would compete on the route, fuelling another of its semi-regular spats with Rex.
Rex said two airlines could not viably service the route.
It recently announced it would add the key Melbourne-Sydney route, offering sale-price $39 fares and undercutting Qantas and Virgin.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.