Rex has announced it will significantly ramp up capacity and reinstate suspended regional services in NSW from 15 November, as regional travel restrictions are set to ease.
The news comes days after Rex announced it will bring its Boeing 737s back into service on domestic routes connecting Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, also from 15 November.
Rex said that from 15 November, the airline will perform three return flights per day between Sydney-Coffs Harbour and Sydney-Port Macquarie.
The airline will also reinstate daily return flights between Sydney and major NSW regional centres including Albury, Armidale, Dubbo, Griffith, Orange, Merimbula, Moruya and Wagga Wagga.
Throughout the NSW lockdown period, Rex had scaled back operation to perform two to three return services per week on these routes, to maintain essential services.
Additional services will be progressively added as demand for travel returns in the weeks and months ahead, Rex said.
Meanwhile, the airline has also announced a range of sale fares on these newly reinstated routes, including over the busy Christmas holiday season.
Fares start from $99 one-way and are on sale now until 14 November, valid for travel up to 30 April 2022.
“Our commitment to remote and regional NSW communities has never been stronger and we are delighted we can now help even more family and friends reconnect and allow Christmas holidays to be booked with confidence,” Rex deputy chairman John Sharp said.
“The resumption of flights will also provide a much-needed boost to local economies, stimulate regional tourism and help businesses ravaged by the pandemic to recover more quickly.”
Sharp stated that Rex’s decision not to blackout school holidays for its $99 fare sale is “unprecedented”, and he urged travellers to move quickly if they want to secure their flight before fares are “snapped up”.
“I have no doubt our competitors will rush to copy our groundbreaking initiative as Rex will once again have triggered a seismic change in the aviation industry which will benefit hundreds of thousands of passengers,” Sharp added.
The deputy chairman stated that Rex passengers continue to be covered by the airline’s refund guarantee policy against COVID-19 disruptions.
“And they know all Rex frontline staff, including our pilots and flights attendants, are fully vaccinated from 1 November which gives them even greater peace of mind,” he said.
Last week, Rex announced that it will recommence its domestic services connecting Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra from 15 November, thanks to easing state border restrictions.
The airline has had its domestic network on hold since July, with its fleet of six Boeing 737s grounded since then due to state border closures.
At that time, the airline said it will be “progressively” ramping up its regional operations throughout NSW and Victoria, also from 15 November, with its fleet of Saab 340 aircraft.
Rex has also announced it will plan to restart domestic services to South Australia and Queensland once both states achieve the 80 per cent vaccination target.
Prior to grounding its 737 fleet in July, the carrier was operating its Boeing narrowbodies on routes from Melbourne to Sydney, Gold Coast, Adelaide and Canberra, as well as Sydney to Gold Coast.
Rex first announced in May 2020 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.
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.