Rex to open Brisbane Airport lounge, eyes Brisbane-Melbourne flights

Brisbane will join the Rex Lounge network in 2021, with Brisbane-Sydney and Brisbane-Melbourne flights on the agenda.

By Chris Chamberlin, December 2 2020
Rex to open Brisbane Airport lounge, eyes Brisbane-Melbourne flights

Regional Express will open a Rex Lounge at Brisbane Airport next year as it gears up for the launch of Brisbane-Sydney flights in April, with Brisbane-Melbourne to follow.

Joining the airline’s existing lounges in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, the facility will welcome Rex’s business class customers and selected economy class flyers.

“We plan to build a new lounge at Brisbane Airport to accommodate our flights between Sydney and Brisbane, and ultimately between Brisbane and Melbourne – and then obviously to other parts of Australia in time,” Rex Deputy Chairman John Sharp confirms to Executive Traveller.

However, the lounge may not touch down until after Rex’s first Brisbane-Sydney flight takes off.

“We haven’t put a specific date on Brisbane yet, but the beauty of what we’re doing is that our model is to scale up as the market scales up, so as we believe the demand exists, we’ll increase the number of flights, and we’ll increase the number of cities that we fly to.”

Rex has confirmed, however, that Brisbane’s lounge will open sometime in 2021, and that its agreements with Priority Pass and similar lounge providers are expected to continue.

Brisbane-Sydney flights first

Regional Express’ jet flights take wing on March 1 2021 between Sydney and Melbourne.

Starting with a fleet of three Boeing 737s, the airline will run up to nine return flights per day between the cities, before taking delivery of more aircraft to broaden its horizons.

“By Easter, two additional Boeing 737s will be added to expand our domestic network to Brisbane and other capital cities,” Sharp shares.

The first of those Brisbane routes will be to Sydney, with Brisbane-Melbourne considered at a later date.

"We don’t want to put a hard and fast date on it, because we feel we need the flexibility in choosing dates that suit us, rather than finding ourselves locked into pre-determined dates,” says Sharp.

“I think our plan will be to move with the market,” and to look at Brisbane-Melbourne flights “as we get more aircraft down the track, and the situation evolves.”

Also read: Rex challenges Qantas, Virgin Australia with $99 flights

The Rex Lounge experience

Regional Express’ lounges in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide remain closed for now, but are expected to welcome passengers back in the first quarter of 2021.

These lounges had previously offered bites like sandwiches, chips and chocolates, Nespresso coffee, cereals, yoghurts, and non-alcoholic drinks, with alcohol served from mid-afternoon.

Although that may again be the case when the lounges return – and in Brisbane, when it debuts – over time, Rex looks set to change that.

Eventually, “it’ll improve – it’ll be a better offering in the lounges than we’ve had in the past,” Sharp hints.

“The exact date for that is yet to be announced, but we will have an improved offering for passengers travelling through the lounge.”

The news comes as Rex confirmed it would build an all-new lounge at Sydney Airport to replace its current facility with one much larger, and would also expand its Melbourne Airport lounge to cater for the expected increase in passengers.

Also read: Everything you need to know about Rex's Boeing 737 business class

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

18 Jul 2018

Total posts 26

Amazing what's possible with taxpayer handouts!

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 194

Absolutely! Qantas has been able to reopen all its Chairman’s Lounges whilst sacking 9000 workers including 2500 airport ground staff. All whilst receiving hundreds of millions!

QF Plat

14 Jul 2014

Total posts 24

Good point about Qantas sackings, that actually turns myself off flying QF.

18 Jul 2018

Total posts 26

If you were a shareholder you might have another no less legitimate perspective.

bert

Qantas have one BIG financial problem, which if they don't solve, they might go under. They have way too many staff per aircraft & they are all paid way too much, especially compared to new Virgin who are reportedly paying 30 to 40% less than old Virgin & Rex who say they have costs lower than Jetstar.

Getting rid of 2000 & replacing them with contractors, saves Qantas $100m a year, which means if same number of people, they are getting $50,000 less on average, per year. That's a huge saving.

08 Feb 2018

Total posts 114

It's not as if the work isn't there to ground-service aircraft, they'll just be working for a contracting company rather than Qantas directly. 

04 Jun 2018

Total posts 20

@Chris, any news on whether Rex lounges may stop welcoming Priority Pass and Lounge Key due to capacity constraints once operations ramp up?

Hi vitorsyd, you'd already posted this question on another recent Rex story, and an answer has been provided there.


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