Rex has announced its intentions to secure an additional two Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft under a new agreement with a lessor.
The airline confirmed it has signed a letter of intent with a lessor for the lease of two additional 737-800NG aircraft, which it hopes to see delivered in August this year, and enter service in September.
The addition of these aircraft will see Rex’s fleet of 737 aircraft rise to eight, just three months after the once-regional airline launched its very first flights between two Australian capital cities, Sydney and Melbourne.
Since then, Rex has expanded its capital city network to include flights between the Gold Coast and Adelaide, and Sydney and Canberra.
The airline said the addition of the two new aircraft will allow it the ability to launch more routes between capital cities, large regional centres, and popular leisure destinations, to be announced shortly.
“We hope to lease another two aircraft to take our fleet size to 10 before the end of this year as foreshadowed in our plan announced last September,” said Rex deputy chairman John Sharp.
The airline is welcoming expressions of interest from lessors for the two new 737 aircraft, “as from cities that are keen to finally put an end to the price gouging they have been subject to for too long”, Sharp said.
The news comes two months after Rex welcomed the delivery of its sixth 737, as it continues to rapidly expand its capital city network. Rex’s fleet of 737s now includes VH-REX, VH-PAG, VH-RQC, VH-RQG, VH-RQP and VH-RYU.
Rex announced in May last year that it was gearing up to rival Qantas and Virgin to take on domestic routes between capital cities, with the airline initially eyeing off routes within the ‘golden triangle’ of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
In November of 2020, Rex announced it had secured a $150 million investment in order to fund its expansion from regional operations into capital cities.
Late last year, Rex 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.
The airline was able to successfully cut a deal with a lessor to secure ex-Virgin Australia 737s as its rival continued its restructuring process, which included the dismantling of its budget arm, Tigerair.