Regional Express has warned it could be "irreversibly destroyed" unless the government takes emergency measures to ensure its viability during the coronavirus pandemic.
Rex chief operating officer Neville Howell said the airline could fold within six months, and would need to announce "drastic schedule reductions" and drop some routes altogether to buy them some more time.
In a strongly worded letter to Riverina MP and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Mr Howell begged him to waive a range of fees and charges for one year to help them weather the coronavirus storm.
His demands include scrapping the "grossly unfair" fuel levy, waiving all air service charges, and suspending baggage security costs at regional terminals.
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On top of waiving fees, Mr Howell is demanding the federal government provide a sovereign guarantee for any new loans so that banks will be willing to lend them money to tide them over.
"Rex calls on the leader of the National Party to immediately take vigorous, swift and unprecedented actions," Mr Howell said.
"If regional carriers collapse, so will many regional communities for which the air service is their lifeline."
While Rex anxiously awaits a response from the government they have placed a trading halt on their shares, freezing them until Thursday pending further announcements down the line.
Rex currently services regional centres like Wagga, Albury and Griffith with flights to metropolitan centres such as Sydney and Melbourne.
Mr McCormack has made no promises, but said the government was "looking at" the suggestions put forward by the airline and would arrive at a decision in the coming days.
"The airlines are facing difficulties, but they tell me they're OK at the moment," Mr McCormack said.
"We'll keep looking at what we can do as a government to help our airlines."
Mr McCormack said Rex, Qantas, and Virgin were feeling the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic, with plummeting passenger numbers across the board.
Currently Qantas flights also service Wagga, however the company has taken a major financial blow after being forced to issue mass cancellations of many domestic and international flights.
Mr McCormack said Rex was a particularly important lifeline for Wagga, which was previously in danger of being without a service entirely following the collapse of Kendell Airlines and Ansett Airlines.
"We remember back in 2001 the Ansett collapse, just how terrible this was for regional communities," Mr McCormack said.
"[Rex] saved Wagga Wagga, because Wagga Wagga was without an airline."
Wagga City Council mayor Greg Conkey said the prospect of losing Rex would hurt Wagga badly, but would hurt the smaller surrounding towns much more.
"Connectivity is extremely important, particularly for these smaller community which will be impacted by reduced air services or no air services to these places," Councillor Conkey said.
"Rex provides an essential service to a number of communities which are not serviced by any other airline."
Cr Conkey said Wagga had benefited enormously from Rex's presence, but would not be at all surprised if they withdrew their services partially or entirely from Wagga.
"It's a vital service, but we can understand if passengers aren't using that service they may have to bring cut backs in the short term," Cr Conkey said.
"I understand airlines have lost a lot of patronage, so no doubt services will be impacted."
The CAPA Centre for Aviation's recent report predicts most airlines will be bankrupt by May, with many airlines already being driven into technical bankruptcy.