Rex to launch Sydney-Armidale flights this month

By Chris Tudehope , March 3 2014
Rex to launch Sydney-Armidale flights this month

Regional Express (Rex) will begin flying between Sydney to Armidale this month, in competition with QantasLink for travellers from the northern NSW university town.

"There's more than 100,000 passengers per year that travel on the route" said Warrick Lodge, General Manager of Network Strategy and Sales for the airline, which is eager to grab its own slice of a market over which QantasLink has previously enjoyed a monopoly hold.

Rex will run three flights every weekday from March 28 with Armidale departures at 6.35am, 10.50am and 5.30pm, while the return legs from Sydney will be wheels up at 9.15am, 3.40pm and 6.55pm. Not coincidentally, those timings line up directly against QantasLink's own services.

Rex will also offer one return service per day on the weekends but with an extra Saturday morning flight from Armidale and Sunday evening back from Sydney.

All flights will run on a 36-seat Saab 340 aircraft.

Rex has its eye on opening more regional NSW routes this year, with the airline saying it's prepared to fly to any destination within 600km of Sydney which can deliver more than 30,000 passengers a year.

This could also include the Brisbane-Armidale route which was abandoned by the now-collapsed Brindabella Airlines in mid-2012, provided Rex's litmus test Sydney service is successful.

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Chris Tudehope is a languages student (speaking four at last count), frequent traveller and passionate observer of up-and-coming countries.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1254

Odd. Surely Rex would be better off flying monopoly routes that QF don't have planes to compete on... there are a lot of unserviced regional towns out there.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

I don't think it's odd at all. It's a great opportunity to screw Qantas as well as make lots of profit.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1254

I don't think they reflects reality though.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

I'm surprised they didn't try Tamworth, honestly.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

29 Aug 2012

Total posts 23

Not at all surprised they chose Armidale over Tamworth. In Tamworth, QantasLink operates frequent Q400 services and has a lounge facility, whereas in Armidale operates Q300s and no lounge facility. Thus, it would be theoretically easier to obtain a larger chunk of the business market should it be able to compete effectively in price and schedule (given both airlines have lounges in Sydney, and neither has a lounge in Armidale).

08 May 2013

Total posts 18

Exactly and could also bring some lower fares between both carriers which are trying to compete

QantasFF Platinum

16 Feb 2012

Total posts 153

Interesting that the news came out 2 days before QF released their financials. I flew SYD-ARM-SYD on Wednesday - poor crew were fretting their futures. 

A major benefit will be fares being reduced. I booked late notice with the only fare left on ARM-SYD at Fully Flex, and the flight was less than 1/2 full. 

Also the 9:15am flight time SYD-ARM is excellent for connecting flights getting into SYD from ADL or MEL or BNE as the Qlink 8:20am departure is too tight. (Obviously if you had checked lugguage you'd stay with QF, unless VA can transfer bags onto Rex? just thinking out loud)

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 752

VA have interline baggage agreements with Rex in SYD, ADL and MEL. 

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