Regional Express expects to bring back its fledgling Boeing 737 intercity jet services on November 15, some four months after flights were suspended in the face of city lockdowns and state border closures.
The 'country challenger' to Qantas and Virgin Australia says the first Boeing 737s will be darting between Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, in line with rising vaccination rates and the gradual easing of travel restrictions.
In a statement released this morning, Rex said its intrastate services in NSW and Victoria would also "be progressively ramped up" from November 15, while it planned to resume Boeing 737 flights to Adelaide and the Gold Coast "once the vaccination rates in these states reach the 80% level."
South Australia is currently on track to hit the 80% double-vaccinated milestone by December 2, with Queensland lagging at December 15.
Rex's services to those states covered Melbourne-Adelaide, Melbourne-Gold Coast and Sydney-Gold Coast.
Before suspending its nascent jet network, Rex announced plans to add four more Boeing 737s to its six-strong fleet this year so that it could expand to new destinations and routes including "other capital cities, large regional centres and popular leisure destinations".
However, Rex deputy chairman John Sharp said in August – when the airline reported a loss of $12.7 million for the 2021 financial year – that the airline had pushed back on the delivery of those aircraft until the middle of 2022.
After a brave start for its Boeing 737 services in March 2021, elbowing its way onto the prime Sydney-Melbourne corridor, Rex added the Gold Coast, Adelaide and Canberra to its Boeing 737 network, with low business class fares quickly matched by Virgin Australia as both airlines positioned themselves as mid-market carriers.