Rex shares now trading higher than January

written by Adam Thorn | September 25, 2020
Rex has called for expressions of interest from NSW towns for new routes to Sydney. (Dave Parer)

Shares in Rex have soared from 40 cents at the start of the coronavirus crises to $1.26 since the airline announced it was close to securing investment to fly Sydney-Melbourne-Brisbane.

The news means that the carrier is one of the few in the industry to have shares trading higher than in January when they were selling for $1.20.

On Tuesday, the airline said it was close to securing $150 million from APAC investment firm PAG Asia Capital. The group will initially invest $50 million in secured convertible notes that could allow it to hold 23 per cent of Rex’s shares by December.

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Rex’s executive chairman Lim Kim Hai said, “With PAG’s support, I have every reason to believe that Rex can successfully launch its domestic major city jet operations.”

The airline first announced in May its ambitious plans to take on Qantas and Virgin by expanding its network to service Australian capital city routes and speculation later linked the airline to the lease of 10 Boeing 737s from Virgin Australia.

The news that a deal for new routes might be close comes after Rex recorded an underlying profit before tax of $250,000 and an increase in revenue, from $318 million last year to $322 million in FY20, despite the coronavirus crisis.

The positive results also marked a remarkable turnaround from March, when Rex warned it would have no choice but to announce the “shutting down of its network” if it didn’t receive financial aid, even threatening to stop transporting COVID-19 testing samples.

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The strong performance was in part attributed to the company accepting $62.1 million of government grants, including JobKeeper and regional aviation bailouts.

This led to Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce attacking Rex for accepting the handouts before unveiling plans to expand its network. “That doesn’t feel right,” said Joyce. “That doesn’t seem right.”

Rex fired back, stating Joyce was “misinformed by his advisers” and arguing that it was impossible to use the COVID-19 payments for improper means because they are “strictly audited” by Ernst & Young.

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5 Comments

  • I somewhat doubt that Virgin is going to lease 737-800’s to Regional Express for them to run competitive services to Virgin Australia. More likely perhaps is a deal with Alliance Aviation to lease some Fokker 100 aircraft or a few of the ex COPA Airlines Embraer 190’s that Alliance has on order with its first aircraft arriving sometime in October. Another really good option might be for REX to acquire some of the now redundant Boeing 717’s that Delta has just announced that they are going to retire. Delta has some 91 Boeing 717-200s in its fleet. At the end of the second quarter of 2020, the airline only owned 13 of these aircraft, meaning the rest were on lease. These planes have an average age of just under 19 years of age.

    Using these ex Delta aircraft or leased aircraft from Alliance would allow REX to run the services for a period of 6-12 ,months to see whether or not such a Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney triangle set of routes is viable for them or not.

  • Steve A

    says:

    Yes, it is hard to see anyone listening to Mr Joyce ever again. His leadership of Qantas while it does dodgy things with worker’s Job Keeper payments and his defense of it, shows the depths to which QF management have stooped.
    Where have ethics and equity gone to at Qantas?
    Shame on Mr Joyce and all of his cronies like Gareth Evans.
    Clean out the QF Board and Management.
    To quote Mr Joyce, “That doesn’t feel right. That doesn’t seem right.”

  • Tim

    says:

    Pretty average article the negative continues on rex
    Alliance would be benefiting to from govt subsidies as all the regional carriers are. The 737 ad well would not be leased from virgin more along lines of the Lessor to avoid them being Repo

  • Clem

    says:

    To Steve A….

    This article about Rex, so why the vitriol against Alan Joyce. Any opportunity to put him ‘down’ eh?
    Enough of your Alan Joyce & QANTAS bashing.

    Your FIGJAM diatribes’ of late are really starting to greatly annoy, to the point of not reading them anymore. They’ve become just so irrelevant, on ANY subject matter. Case of same old, same old constantly.
    If you’re so ‘wonderful’ start, & run your OWN airline!

  • Stuart

    says:

    Big whoop! This is one mob in which I’d NEVER buy shares.
    Just remember Tesna , in 2001-2002. It fell over very rapidly.
    History always repeats itself, & people don’t learn from that at all.
    Something about ‘a fool & his money’ rings a bell……….

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