Mildura Airport Chair, Mr Peter O’Donnell said the decision by Regional Express Airlines (Rex) to cut its service between Mildura and Sydney was “disappointing but not surprising,” after the carrier announced in a statement released to the media, the removal of the direct flights to Sydney.

The airline blamed the decision on increased airport charges and suggested the increase was a breach of an existing agreement.

Mr Peter O’Donnell said “the agreement we have with Rex does not cover this route and to say otherwise is simply not accurate.”

Mr O’Donnell said the decision was “not surprising because Rex has stated publicly that it is under great pressure due to Australia’s current pilot shortage, and I think that has been a major factor in Rex’s decision.”

“It’s disappointing because it means people in the Sunraysia will have reduced choice.”

Until this decision Rex had been running flights from Mildura to Sydney on most days of the week.

The Airport Chairman said “we haven’t yet heard from Rex officially, so we’re not sure when they plan to stop offering this particular route." He suggested any concerned passengers get in contact with the airline and seek clarification

“For the good of people across Sunraysia, the Board will contact Rex to continue negotiations and try to find a sensible solution,” Mr O’Donnell said.