Rex launches Brisbane-Melbourne Boeing 737 flights

Brisbane is not only Regional Express' latest destination but shows the battle for the 'golden triangle' has begun.

By David Flynn, November 15 2021
Rex launches Brisbane-Melbourne Boeing 737 flights

Regional Express will begin flights between Brisbane and Melbourne from December 17, offering a double-daily Boeing 737 service on weekdays and a single return service on Saturday and Sunday.

The move brings the country challenger closer to its goal of a 'golden triangle' network connecting Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – Australia's most popular but also most highly-contested market already covered by Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar.

Rex's entry – combined with typically sharp fares – will transform this into a four horse race.

"All of our launch flights to new destinations have proved to be enormously popular and I have no doubt Brisbane will be the same, particularly with such affordable fares," boasted Rex Deputy Chairman John Sharp.

The airline's kick-off sale sees $79 fares from Melbourne on sale until November 30, for travel through to April 30, 2022.

"Every time we've entered a new market, airfares have fallen dramatically as Qantas and Virgin Australia scramble to match our prices and I have no doubt this will be the case again."

The Rex Boeing 737s gradually return to the skies from today, and they'll also now sport inflight WiFi as an equaliser of sorts against Qantas, although the service will be free only to business class travellers after the end of November.

For economy class passengers, Rex has settled on a paid two-tier model:

  • the basic-speed browsing package – which the airline rates as being "suitable for simple Web browsing, email, instant messaging and social media" – will be offered "from $6.50" for 30 minutes or $10 for the entire flight
  • the faster streaming service will cost "from $9.75" for 30 minutes or $15 for the entire flight

Also read: Business class compared – Qantas vs Virgin Australia vs Rex

More competition the merrier.

08 Sep 2018

Total posts 26

Great news. $79 Virgin fares!

That’s a very long and expensive sector to be flying with a 10% occupancy rate. Ouch!

am sure they can fill aircraft. Much the same offering as virgin or qantas, but cheaper.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1193

....Except they aren't any cheaper than Virgin and their experience on MEL-SYD suggests they have never got anywhere near filling their aircraft.  Low frequency means they remain unattractive to business travellers.

The whole business case for REX was based on Virgin not emerging from administration.  As soon as that was found to be untrue, a sensible board would have either cancelled or thoroughly reworked their plans.  Bonza probably has a better business model because they are going to do something different.  REX adds absolutely nothing.

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 154

MEL T4 is a deal breaker for me.


09 May 2020

Total posts 553

They need to understand 2 things

Virgin has a legacy loyalty program, Rex had one then axed it for another paid format for businesses. Until they can attract enough business travellers they have to attract leisure clientele in volume to be viable.

Their scheduling need to improve and NOT cancel scheduled flights which inconvenienced the business travellers especially start and end of business day flights. Virgin may do that previously but they usually move people to other scheduled flights timed 30 or 60 minutes later. If they do not have deep enough pockets to ride this out for 12-18 months they shouldn’t extend the network to BNE.

But I am just an armchair CEO…..

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