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