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Rex to reinstate 737s on Sydney-Melbourne route from 15 November

written by Hannah Dowling | October 18, 2021
One of Rex’s 737s, VH-RYU, as shot by Victor Pody.

Rex has announced that it will recommence its domestic services connecting Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra from 15 November, as state border restrictions begin to ease.

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.

Meanwhile, the airline will be “progressively” ramping up its regional operations throughout NSW and Victoria, also from 15 November, with its fleet of Saab 340 aircraft.

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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.

Just one month prior to putting its domestic network on hold, Rex announced that it was gearing up to expand its 737 fleet to eight jets by the end of this year.

In March, the airline launched its very first flights between two Australian capital cities, Sydney and Melbourne.

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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 at the time 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.

“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.

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.

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 with a payload capacity of 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.

3 Comments

  • Geoffrey

    says:

    Let’s see how long Rex lasts, going back to jet routes’, which were a financial abyss when last flown.
    So he’s going to saddle his airline with more leasing debt in getting another two Boeings’.
    Yeah, that’s business ‘sense’……not!

    Sharp’ll feel the $ pinch when Fed funds stop in 13 days’ time.

  • James

    says:

    What’s he going to do when the RDAC runs out? More debt coming for REX. With the amount of flight and cabin crew they are losing back to their previous airlines how on earth are they going to ramp up again. With bonza coming I give them 6 months.

    • Warwick

      says:

      Yes, James, & Sharp wants to lease ANOTHER two second-hand Boeing 737’s after the current two come into their fleet.

      Rex made a huge loss of over $27mn FY 19-20, $18.5mn FY 20-21, had jets’ grounded since early July this year, so more $ loss, but still paying mega-bucks in lease fees, so where’s he getting funds to lease four jets?
      Doubt it’s coming from its’ Singaporean owners’.

      Think you’re being generous in giving them six months’…

      As always, time’ll tell….

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