Rex inks partnership with Delta Air Lines

The ‘heart of the country’ is expanding its reach with a new international ally across the Pacific.

By Chris Ashton, May 2 2022
Rex inks partnership with Delta Air Lines

Rex Airlines has swooped in to fill the impending void left by Virgin Australia, signing a Letter of Intent to begin a commercial partnership with Delta Air Lines in the third quarter of this year.

The final agreement will see Rex and Delta – America’s second largest airline – link up to offer reciprocal interline ticketing and baggage services, giving passengers access to over 60 Australian routes and more than 275 international destinations on six continents.

It’s a big win for the Australian airline, as it continues its transformation from regional carrier into a middle-market challenger to the likes of Virgin Australia and Jetstar on key domestic routes. It could potentially unlock a path to joining an international alliance as well.

With Delta’s 11 year Virgin Australia partnership set to end on June 12, the SkyTeam member was in need of a local partner, with Rex a surprising, yet perfectly fitting choice.

When complete, Rex’s passengers will be able to connect seamlessly on Delta’s daily, non-stop flights between Sydney and Los Angeles, a frequency which is set to increase to 10 flights a week beginning December 18, and from there to nearly 50 cities in the U.S.

Rex Deputy Chairman John Sharp calls the agreement a milestone moment for Rex and its passengers, one sure to “help boost the post-COVID return of long-haul international travel”.

“Delta will not only connect international travellers on Rex’s trunk domestic routes, but could also allow them easy access to Rex’s expansive network of over 60 routes throughout regional Australia,” Sharp elaborates.

It’s a sentiment echoed by Delta’s Vice-President – Alliance Partner Development, Jeff Arinder, who says “Rex will be a valued partner that will bring additional connectivity and geographic reach to both airlines.”

Rex is Australia’s largest independent airline, with a fleet of 60 Saab 340 and six Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, covering key destinations including Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 779

I'm still waiting to see the amazing new REX lounge in Sydney's terminal 2, having expertise in the construction industry the timelines they originally gave for start up of the new lounge seemed very ambiguous. Can we have an update on that please.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 569

My Quantity Surveyor has considerable airport experience, though not an ET contributor, he's breaking his neck to see this too.  The challenge is always engaging with a building contractor that understands the logistics and permits needed to work airside (many first timers do not, leading to project delays and price disputes).  

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1087

It's REX, they won't start until the get a government grant of some kind.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 779

Let me be Sharp here, it's never going to happen, a pipe dream that got the media talking.

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 114

Lets's hope REX can complete the deal - would be great for the little battler to give some regional competition to Virgin and Qantas. REX will need to sharpen its game in places and this may be the inventive REX needs. Well done!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

04 Sep 2018

Total posts 15

Now for a decent frequent flyer program for REX and things could then start to get real interesting!

DL is still missing out on the NZ market. What are the bets… will Rex expand to NZ, will DL expand to NZ or will NZ be left out of DL’s reach?

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1087

Highly unlikely that either DL or REX will go to New Zealand.  Demand for US-NZ doesn't justify many competitors and REX is a small airline with 6 loss-making 737s; they are a long way from being able to afford an international expansion;

25 Mar 2021

Total posts 13

And VA, QF, JQ have all tried to crack the NZ market and not had much success. On the main trunk you really need at least hourly service for business to consider you and also need to get into the regions to get the feeder traffic. And it seems there isn't enough business to make two airlines or a second airline happy to loss-lead for 5 years to cermet themselves. And there doesn't seem to be niche markets that that you can use to springboard like in Aussie where start of serving the regions in a state or get a set of FIFO contracts.


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