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SYDNEYAn airline war is set to erupt over the skies of regional Australia with Qantas announcing plans to expand its operations and muscle into key new routes.

The national carrier will introduce seven routes across New South Wales, South Australia, and Victoria and offer special fares to lure customers away from its competitors.

The destinations will include Mount Gambier, Wagga Wagga, Merimbula, Newcastle, Griffith, and Albury.

The move has triggered an immediate backlash from Australia's largest independent regional carrier, Regional Express (Rex), which operates on these routes.

Rex called for the Federal Government to intervene, describing the announcement as an "attack on its profitable regional operations".

Qantas will offer $125 one-way fares on the routes for a period to snare new passengers.

Via (News Australia)

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