Three new round-trip flights will operate each week to Port Augusta from September after Regional Express was awarded the route licence to operate passenger air services.
The new service will improve access for people travelling to Port Augusta for business while opening up the region to more domestic and international visitors.
Rex will operate three weekly roundtrip services on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from Monday 11 September, subject to regulatory approval, providing up to 10,000 seats a year.
An expression of interest was issued to take over the Route Service Licence after the previous operator ceased services in May this year.
Rex will also offer connections to Coober Pedy, linking the opal mining town and Port Augusta by air for the first time.
Rex and its predecessor Kendell Airlines have served South Australia since the 1980s. The regional airline currently operates intrastate and interstate services including from Adelaide to Ceduna, Coober Pedy, Kangaroo Island, Mount Gambier, Port Lincoln, Whyalla, Broken Hill and Mildura.
Stephen Mullighan, Transport and Infrastructure Minister, said:
“Regional air services are vital to regional communities especially Port Augusta so it is very pleasing to see Regional Express taking up this opportunity.
“These services will make it easier to travel to Port Augusta and beyond for business and can also be critical for people who need to travel to Adelaide for medical treatments”.
Geoff Brock, Regional Development Minister, added:
“I welcome this important new regional service between Adelaide, Port Augusta and the Outback.
It’s particularly pleasing to see a new connection being offered linking Port Augusta with Coober Pedy by air for the first time.
“Local communities rely on these intrastate air services between our regional towns and cities to connect with each other and be able to make use of direct access to Adelaide”.
Warrick Lodge, Rex General Manager of Network Strategy & Sales, said:
“Rex is extremely pleased to be in a position to resurrect a regional air service between Adelaide and Port Augusta following the exit of Sharp Airways on 31 May 2017.
“The service will also extend through to Coober Pedy which means that there will be, for the first time, air services linking Port Augusta to Coober Pedy”.