Regional Express (Rex) will conduct a flypast of Sydney’s Harbour and beaches on 26 January, showing off its newly acquired 737-800NGs, as its inter-capital city network launch quickly approaches.
At approximately 10:15am on 26 January, one of Rex’s six leased Boeing 737s, sporting its newly revealed livery, is set to fly at 1500 feet over the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The aircraft will then track past the Opera House from the east, before conducting a reversal turn to the west of the bridge.
The 737 is due to then make another pass over the Harbour Bridge before tracking east over the harbour to Sydney Heads, and making its run along the Northern Beaches.
Rex deputy chairman John Sharp AM said, “It’s a great honour for Rex to be taking part in our national celebrations. Rex will be bringing a little bit of country to Australia’s largest city on its biggest day.”
Meanwhile, as the carrier continues to prepare for its 1 March 2021 launch date of its inter-capital city routes, the airline has given both its aircraft and its staff a cosmetic overhaul.
The regional-turned-domestic airline has said it has redesigned its cabin crew uniforms in a style the airline has called “classic yet elegant”.
According to Rex’s national flight attendant manager, Donna Griffith, the new uniforms are intended to “contemporise” the airline’s “country hospitality” while being “fuss-free” and practical.
Last month, the airline revealed its new livery for its fleet of 737-800NGs, which will be tackling the new routes.
It’s livery fails to stray far from that which has donned its fleet of Saab 340s for decades.
From 1 March, Rex will utilise its Boeing 737s on the notoriously profitable route between Sydney and Melbourne, with intentions to expand its capital city network to include Brisbane by Easter.
Earlier this month, Sharp released a bullish newspaper column, suggesting that Qantas is secretly “distressed” by Rex’s network expansion, which will put the two in direct competition.
Sharp went so far as to liken Qantas to the Titanic, Nokia and General Motors, all deemed “too big to fail”, and suggested that Qantas had never faced a fair rival.
Since then, senior business columnist Stephen Bartholomeusz wrote for The Sydney Morning Herald that “history is not on Rex’s side” in its battle for domination over Qantas and Virgin Australia.
“History says it is exceptionally difficult to crack what might be a natural duopoly in the domestic market,” Bartholomeusz wrote. “It might even be more difficult today than it was in the past.”
If Rex is to succeed, Bartholomeusz said, it must take significant share off either, or a meaningful share off both, Qantas and Virgin.
“Neither will surrender it easily, even if a response to Rex’s entry is costly,” he wrote.
Both incumbents benefit from their size, capacity, frequent flyer programs, lounges, and their brands, which leaves Rex with a lot of catching up to do.