Rex launches free WiFi on Boeing 737 flights

Now there are more ways to stay connected above the clouds.

By David Flynn, November 11 2021
Rex launches free WiFi on Boeing 737 flights

Domestic challenger Regional Express will seek to narrow the gap against Qantas and Virgin Australia with the launch of inflight WiFi and inflight entertainment across its domestic Boeing 737 network beginning Monday November 15.

The Rex jets will gradually return to the skies from this month through to late December following the end of state lockdowns along  Australia's eastern coast.

Four of the six Boeing 737s have already been connected to Intelsat's high-speed 2Ku satellite service, with the remaining pair to be wired – or should that be unwired? – "in a few months", the airline says.

The WiFi will be complimentary for all Rex business class passengers, and will initially be free in economy class until the end of November, at which point Rex will move to a paid two-tier model in economy:

  • 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

"In this day and age, business and leisure travellers want to remain connected whether they are on the ground or in the air," explains Mayooran Thanabalasingam, Rex's General Manager for Information Technology and Communications.

"And as our passengers return to the skies from Monday as we restart our domestic network after the lockdowns we expect their need for connectivity will be greater than ever before."

Each plane's WiFi network will also stream a selection of free movies and TV shows, along with inflight information and weather, which passengers can view on their own smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Qantas offers free Internet access to all passengers on its WiFi-equipped Boeing 737s and Airbus A330s, and at high speeds – travellers regularly clock more than 10Mbps, which is ample for streaming HD video.

Also read: Qantas adds WiFi streaming movies, TV shows to all QantasLink jets

And what about Virgin..?

However, Virgin Australia has yet to reveal its own plans for WiFi – which was previously offered at low speeds for free, and higher speeds for a price, before the airline switched off the service following its collapse in early 2020.

"WiFi is on the cards (but) the WiFi product that we had before, we didn't think was serving our guests as well as it might," Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka told Executive Traveller in May.

"So we're working our way through what the best alternatives look like, the best way to think through WiFi and how important it is to our guests."

One option, which would be in keeping with Virgin's new 'value' proposition, might be to scrap the free WiFi tier and charge passengers (although perhaps making an exception for business class flyers) to jump online – on the basis that if they don't want WiFi, then it doesn't need to be priced into their fare.

Another would be to dial back the free service to cover only messaging apps – such as WeChat, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, along with the chat programs of Apple and Android devices – in line with several overseas carriers, among them Virgin's US partner Delta Air Lines.

Virgin could also resume the previous tiered plan but impose much stricter speed limiting on the free service.

Wish Rex would start flying out of BNE. Especially to SYD & MEL.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 27

So the headline is a little misleading since it is only free for two weeks.  So "Rex lauches free WiFi on Boeing 737 Routes in business only. Paid for economy". 

esquire how is it misleading ? Only certain retailers & certain hotels have permanent (price reduction) sales. I get so sick of % off sales. % off what ? A rack rate or a RRP that no one actually ever pays. RRP ? What is that ? It's not set in stone by wholesaler. RRP can be set by the retailer.

Spoke to a group of retailers recently & they said as many customers will only buy things on sale, prices have gone up. The example they gave ...

a widget was $200 ($100 wholesale). They would sell a certain % at full price. Then they'd have a 25% off RRP sale (RRP set by them) so $200 became $150.

Now instead they'd pay the same $100 wholesale, but price initially set at $300 RRP. Sell some at that price to customers who weren't price sensitive (100s of billions of dollars, funny money floating around economy, so some will pay anything).

Then they'd have a 25% off sale & price goes to $225 & sell some at this price, then they'd have a 50% off sale so $150 & sell some more, then maybe a bigger % off for the last of that item. In the end the retailer made more money, but also spent more on advertising.

Above only works when customers can't shop around for EXACTLY the same item.

In some industries, you cannot shop around for same item, as same item not found in 2 separate businesses. eg. might see the same widget, in a different colour. The widget is otherwise the same, but business policy to beat the opposition by 5 or 10% on same widgets, doens't apply as not identical widgets, with a slightly different product/bar code. Many suppliers will produce a SMU product if retailer orders enough. SMU=special make up. Different colour, different specs(inferior or better quality, usually the former) etc. DON'T LISTEN TO % OFF SALES !!!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 27

What are you ranting on about ? 

Is it free WiFi ? No, except for business. 

End of story.  

tj1
tj1

12 Nov 2021

Total posts 1

Interestingly when I flew Rex MEL-ADL earlier this year, they did have a wifi network called 'Rex Wifi' (which I connected to) and it was certainly faster than Qantas. Not sure if it was for the crew, but nevertheless they didn't advertise it on the flight

QFP

22 Jan 2013

Total posts 83

Hello David,

Do you know the rego's of aircraft fitted so far?

Thanks


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Rex launches free WiFi on Boeing 737 flights