Rex has taken delivery of a sixth 737 as it continues to rapidly expand its capital city network.
The 17-year-old 737-8FE, VH-RYU msn 33794, left Jakarta on 20 April at 10:12am and landed in Brisbane at 8:30pm. The next day it flew onwards to Rex’s base at Sydney, as flight ZL9915.
Rex also confirmed it was still planning to take delivery of two more aircraft in July and could grow its fleet beyond eight by the end of 2021.
“We have almost daily requests from major cities all over Australia for Rex’s services and we will work with all airports that are prepared to establish a good partnership with us,” Rex deputy chairman John Sharp said.
“We welcome expression of interests from all major cities as we are determined to bring our unique premium reliable services at affordable fares to the four corners of Australia delivered with our trademark country hospitality.”
Rex’s fleet of 737s now includes VH-REX, VH-PAG, VH-RQC, VH-RQG, VH-RQP and VH-RYU.
The business signed off on a $150 million investment in November last year to allow it to expand its operations to fly major domestic routes.
It also acquired a “High Capacity Air Operator’s Certificate” from CASA, which allows it to fly 737s and any aircraft with more than 38 seats or weighing more than 4,200 kilograms. Its fleet of 60 Saab 340s carry slightly fewer passengers.
In November, Australian Aviation photographer Lenn Bayliss photographed Rex’s first 737 shortly after it had its old Virgin livery removed at Wellcamp and before the regional airline took delivery of it in Sydney on 5 November.
Earlier this week, Australian Aviation reported how Rex’s Sharp launched a withering attack on Qantas’ finances, branding the airline “technically insolvent”.
Sharp also suggested in the newspaper column that chief executive Alan Joyce was a hypocrite for going “cap in hand” to the federal government for help.
“Qantas is now so desperate that it is willing to risk universal ridicule just to get its hands on more cash at any cost,” he wrote.
The two businesses have for months been involved in a tit-for-tat argument over launching new services, which started with Rex accusing the flag carrier of using “predatory” tactics to compete with it on previously exclusive routes. Qantas responded by arguing that its smaller rival was throwing a “tantrum”.