With Rex adding Canberra to its growing inter-city network, the airline will take over Canberra Airport's former 'international lounge' to serve as its preflight digs – and make it available to every passenger.
Created as a space for travellers boarding the airline's handful of pre-COVID international services flown by Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways, it's more of a well-appointed departure lounge than the more familiar and private 'club lounge' such as those of rivals Qantas or Virgin Australia.
Rex says its use of the international departure lounge is temporary, and as "a promotional offer for the next 3 months, all Rex passengers will be entitled to access the lounge."
The modern design features a variety of different areas for 'seating and meeting', with both social and private spaces.
It also includes a large bar and café dining area, from which Rex says it will provide each passenger with "a complimentary non-alcoholic beverage, while alcohol and snacks are available for purchase."
Rex Lounge members will enjoy other benefits "in line with existing lounge offerings."
While Rex says its use of the international departure lounge is temporary, it will be available for Regional Express passengers to use when daily Canberra-Sydney flights take off from Monday April 19, in competition against Qantas and at some stage, it's expected, Alliance Airlines operating on behalf of Virgin.
As previously reported, Rex's ambitious assault on what's currently a Qantas monopoly will match Qantas' own busy schedule with seven return Rex flights each day, which launched into the market at $99 one-way.
Rex is expected to begin Sydney-Canberra flights using its workhorse 33-seat all-economy Saab 340B turboprops, but with the scope to swap in the larger Boeing 737 jets – with eight seats in business class and 168 in economy – during the morning and afternoon peak hours according to demand.
This is the same approach adopted by Qantas, which flies a mix of Boeing 717 jets and Dash 8 turboprops.
Read the ET review: Rex Boeing 737 business class (Gold Coast-Melbourne)