Wagga Airport has lost a sizeable chunk of its Regional Express flights, as the company threatens to fold on the back of dwindling passenger numbers due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The deepest cuts were made to the Wagga to Sydney flights, which will be reduced from 31 flights per week to just 13 per week.
The Wagga to Melbourne flights will only see a small reduction, from 15 to 12 services per week, however Rex warns further cuts could be in the pipeline.
The airline company is begging Wagga City Council to reduce its airport charges and keep operating costs to a bare minimum in a bid to stave off further cuts.
Mayor Greg Conkey said he was sympathetic to the ailing airline and would see what council could do on their end to keep Rex's services in town.
"I totally understand their predicament and we'll be meeting with them early next week to discuss their situation," Councillor Conkey said.
"They are a very important company for rural and regional Australia and they have a significant presence here in the city of Wagga."
Rex's closure would deal a harsh blow to many Wagga businesses that rely on it, according to Wagga Business Chamber relationship manager Casey Wilson.
"Reduced flights and transport services will impact those businesses who frequently conduct business and offer services to cities outside of Wagga Wagga. The impact will be greater should Rex fold in coming months and we would hate to see that happen," Ms Wilson said.
"Once the COVID-19 virus has passed services will be back in high demand and business will once again be heavily relying on services such as Rex."
General manager of network strategy and sales Warrick Lodge said the situation was dire for the company, which was wrestling with an uncertain future ahead.
"The operating environment is extremely fluid and we will be monitoring the situation closely," Mr Lodge said.
"If the situation worsens we may be forced to further reduce capacity in the interests of maintaining essential regional air services."
Across the board Rex has reduced its services by 45 per cent and has entirely scrapped its Newcastle, Port Augusta and Armidale routes.
Rex is currently lobbying the government for a sovereign guarantee on loans so that the banks will be willing to lend them money without fear of them defaulting on their loans.
The company warns that without more government intervention, it could go bust within six months.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack is in ongoing discussions with Rex to discuss the airline's future.