Rex snares the Boeing 737 of Virgin Australia co-founder Brett Godfrey

Regional Express will challenge Virgin Australia with a jet named for the man who helped launch Virgin some 20 years ago.

By David Flynn, November 13 2020
Rex snares the Boeing 737 of Virgin Australia co-founder Brett Godfrey
Brett's Jet is now in the hands of Rex [photo: Robert Frola]
Executive Traveller exclusive

Irony alert: one of the Boeing 737 jets with which Regional Express will take on Virgin Australia is none other than a jet named for Virgin co-founder Brett Godfrey.

Rex will lease six Boeing 737 jets to launch flights between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane across March-April 2021 as it seeks a share of the lucrative 'triangle' traffic between Australia's east coast capitals, with an eye towards a fleet of 30-40 jets linking all capital cities.

As previously reported, these jets were formerly flown by Virgin Australia and will arrive at Rex's hangars with Virgin's business class and economy seats.

According to a fleet delivery schedule sighted by Executive Traveller, the fifth Boeing 737 to be handed over to Rex carries the registration of VH-BZG, making it none other than the Boeing 737 named in honour of Brett Godfrey (the 'Z' being for his wife Zahra).

Melbourne-born Godfrey founded Virgin Blue alongside Richard Branson in 2000, after working at Virgin Atlantic and famously pitching the low-cost Qantas challenger to Branson in what the Brit billionaire described as "presenting his ideas to me sketched out on a beer mat."

Godfrey served as CEO of Virgin Blue until 2010, after which the airline was rebranded and repositioned as the upmarket Virgin Australia by his successor John Borghetti.

His retirement was marked by the delivery in August 2010 of a Boeing 737 with the VH-BZG registration and carrying the name "Brett’s Jet".

Curiously, Rex's fleet delivery schedule indicated that BZG – which like most of the initial Boeing 737s is being leased from Castlelake – would have its registration changed to MFM.

Those are notably the initials of Michael Francis McCormack: Australia's Deputy Prime Minister, National Party leader, proud son of Wagga Wagga and federal member for the local electorate of Riverina.

However, a spokesman for Regional Express told Executive Traveller that the first six Boeing 737s would all follow the airline's convention of registrations beginning with the letter R.

Also read: Rex to join Virgin Australia in a race to the middle ground


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jun 2018

Total posts 14

This is good news for the remaining VA fleet. I was concerned that it would be the nice newer jets that were leased and get handed back with VA keeping the old clunkers.  Looks like Rex are going to be another Alliance flying around a fleet tired old planes.

hardly old clunkers. Gather many of qantas 737s are around 18-19yo, when they got deal form hell from Boeing after SEP11 saw many orders cancelled.

Can someone clarify the age of all virgin & qantas 737s ?

Etihad - Etihad Guest

19 Mar 2018

Total posts 68

As I explained to someone just now, 

A Singapore Airlines rep once explained to me: 

Air New Zealand base in Auckland, with feeder Air New Zealand Link

Now look at the map, flip NZ laterally, and move it over to WA... Virgin Australia in Perth with feeder XYZ

Flip that opposite of WA, and you get Brisbane.

Then flip that to the opposite end of the world, and you get Virgin Atlantic in London, Flybe as feeder.

You, and the airlines must learn again, that Alliance, Skywest, etc aren't just flying around. They have a purpose.  

Oh just you wait REX try to go international and realizing that its name is too generic. Guess what name are they gonna use.

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 380

Had a few vino's last night I can see...

11 Jul 2020

Total posts 75

wasn't this news like 2 months ago?

VH-BZG is just over 10 years old ONLY !!!!

so you'll be able to fly Rex on Bretts jet, with ex virgin crews, engineers but at a lower price.

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