Key Points:

  • Rex fortifies its domestic operations, heralding the addition of two Boeing 737-800s and announcing the arrival of its ninth 737.

  • Amid accusations against Qantas, Rex stands firm on its principles, emphasizing not resorting to questionable tactics during pandemic challenges.

  • Despite recent regional network reductions, Rex pledges to resume all flights by the end of March next year.

Rex's Recent 737 Acquisition to Bolster Domestic Reach

SYDNEY — Regional Express (Rex), Australia's thriving airline, is set on bolstering its domestic operations, projecting the incorporation of two more Boeing 737-800s into its fleet by June 2024. This aspiration is in sync with its recent addition, the ninth 737 (VH-8JS), previously operated by Singapore Airlines. After its journey from Singapore, the aircraft made its landing in Brisbane on 22 September.

Marking a significant move in its strategic expansion, Rex plans to utilize this new addition on the Adelaide-Brisbane route starting 30 October. This aligns with the airline's ambition to broaden its presence across Australia's major cities. It's worth noting that the prior acquisition in August, Rex's eighth 737, had a similar history, previously being part of Singapore Airlines' fleet.

However, the airline's upward trajectory comes alongside some challenges. Just days preceding this new arrival, Rex declared reductions to its regional routes, attributing the decision to what it described as Qantas's incessant raid on its pilot reserves. This cut impacts seven regional routes within New South Wales, augmenting the cuts that were announced earlier in April. Nevertheless, Rex is optimistic about its future operations, asserting that it aims to reestablish its entire flight operations by end-March of the following year.

John Sharp, the deputy chair of the airline, didn't mince words in addressing the rivalry with Qantas. Sharp stated, “We’ve maintained an ethical approach throughout. We neither retrenched staff during Covid-19 nor sold tickets for non-existent flights merely to boost cash flow. We prioritize our passengers, refraining from inflating prices even on exclusive routes. Furthermore, we don’t manipulate the airport slot system to our advantage.”

As the narrative unfolds, Qantas finds itself at the center of multiple contentious issues, with the nation's competition watchdog hinting at potential legal proceedings over allegations of selling tickets for already-cancelled flights.