Rex eyes flights to Perth, Hobart in national jet network

The challenger wants to establish an Australia-wide network with more Boeing 737 aircraft.

By Bloomberg News, September 15 2022
Rex eyes flights to Perth, Hobart in national jet network

Regional Express plans to add more Boeing 737s within months, giving it enough jets for a nationwide network of intercity routes as it seeks to steal business away from troubled Qantas.

Rex, best known for flying small propeller-driven aircraft between regional towns, is fast building out a new jet division plying busy domestic routes including Sydney-Melbourne.

The tiny airline is carving out market share partly because it’s proving more reliable than giant rival Qantas, which is beset by post-pandemic flight cancellations, delays and lost bags.

Having added a seventh Boeing 737 last week, Rex could add two more by the end of 2022, director Chris Hine said in an interview at a CAPA Centre for Aviation conference in Adelaide.

Those extra planes could potentially open up routes to Australia’s western seaboard, to Tasmania in the south, or to new destinations on the east coast, Hine said.

“It’s probably a network that does start to have critical mass,” Hine said. “We haven’t made a decision as a board yet but there are various opportunities.”

Rex’s new fast-jet business has helped the company more than double its pre-pandemic market share to 5%, with the 737s – most of which were previously leased to Vigin Australia – carrying business and economy class.

Hine described Qantas’s current operational woes, which are piling pressure on Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce, as Rex’s best advert.

Rex could ultimately drive its market share to 10% or more as additional jets enter service, Hine said.

“Every time we see an opportunity to grow that fleet, we’ll take it,” he said. Regional Express, has previously said it plans to operate as many as 30 Boeing 737s.

Rex is now working on a new lounge at Brisbane Airport to bed down its proposition on the ‘triangle’ between the east coast capital cities, along with developing an all-new Rex frequent flyer program which is expected to spark a loyalty dogfight with Qantas and Virgin.

Additional reporting by David Flynn

This article is published under license from Bloomberg Media: the original article can be viewed here

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Mar 2020

Total posts 11

Flew REX Mel-Cbr J class during the week - on time, excellent service (a nice fresh cold potato and bean salad) for the short sector. Seemed down back pretty full. I paid for J class - there was 5 others in J (could be paid or upgrades)...

Return on QF, was 40mins late with no real explanation.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 526

REx can only attract people on price right now as long as they don’t get their loyalty program going (seriously? no even activate the REx flyer program?) but QF have demonstrated pax loyalty means very little to them at the moment but I much rather a convenient golden triangle in the east coast rather than worry about irregular connection to PER or HBA

Rxm
Rxm

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Jan 2017

Total posts 66

If Rex can get enough flight going they will become a very appealing alternative to the train wreck Qantas has become. 


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