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Rex completes first Sydney-Brisbane flight

written by Hannah Dowling | December 20, 2021

One of Rexs new 737s, VH-REX, shot in Melbourne by Victor Pody.

Rex’s first Sydney to Brisbane flight has taken off, completing the airline’s long-awaited goal of servicing the lucrative “golden triangle” of Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane.

Rex flight ZL352 took off from Sydney Airport at 3:31pm local time after a 15-minute delay and touched down in Brisbane just over one hour later, at 3:38pm Queensland time.

The flight marks not only a new milestone for Rex, but comes just days after Queensland reopened its border to COVID hotspot states, including NSW, Victoria and the ACT, on 13 December.

“This is a great way to end what has been an extraordinary year for both Rex and the whole aviation industry,” said Rex deputy chairman John Sharp.

From today, Rex will run three services per weekday between the NSW and Queensland capitals, with two services per day on weekends.

Rex ambassador Kay Hull, the former federal member for Riverina who advocated to save what would soon become Regional Express Airlines after Ansett fell in 2001, was present on Monday to wave off the first Sydney-Brisbane flight.

Rex previously acknowledged Hull’s contribution to the airline by painting a caricature of her face on the fuselage of the aircraft, registration VH-REX.


It comes just days after Rex similarly completed its inaugural Melbourne-Brisbane flight on Friday, 17 December.

Flight ZL258 took off from Melbourne at 4:30pm on Friday and landed just under two hours later, at 5:21pm local time.

Rex has announced that it will now begin double daily flights on weekdays between Melbourne and Brisbane, with a return service on both Saturday and Sunday.


Friday’s flight marked the first time that Rex operated into Brisbane since it first began using its newly acquired fleet of largely ex-Virgin Boeing 737s on domestic capital city routes, after launching its very first capital city flights between the nation’s major capital cities – Sydney and Melbourne – in March this year.

The move is long-awaited after 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” – some of the notoriously busiest and most profitable routes in the world.

It comes just days after Queensland reopened its borders to all interstate arrivals after hitting its 80 per cent double vaccinated milestone.

However, visitors from what it deems COVID hotspots, including NSW, Victoria and Greater Adelaide, must take a PCR test both before they arrive, and afterwards on day five of their stay.

The Sunshine State’s border opening came four days earlier than planned but doesn’t apply to unvaccinated citizens who will still need to undergo 14 days of hotel quarantine at their own expense.

Previously, the state had planned to ease its border restrictions with hotspots on 17 December, however, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in light of Queensland’s strong vaccination rates, the government has decided to push this date forward.

“Never did I think that we would be in such a good position,” Palaszczuk said of Queensland’s vaccination rates. “I could not be more proud.”

Comments (4)

  • Warwick


    Wonder what the load factor was?

    Sharp’s ‘pleading’ to State premiers’ to open up, was a desperate move to get more business for Rex, which means it’s probably not in a good financial situation currently.

  • Ian Deans


    Good luck to Rex. Any competition for Qantas is a good thing.

  • Neil


    Hardly a New B737,being an Ex Virgin Jet. Maybe more than 14 years plus. Good luck in competition with Qantas & Virgin!

    • Vannus


      The ex-Virgin Boeing 737’s that Rex has leased, because they can’t afford to buy them, are on average 16 years’ old.

      One hopes they’ve got good engineering facilities’ to keep them aloft, along with their 26+ year old Saabs’.

      Must make Sharp fume when QANTAS can make, & pay for, a multi-billion $ order on brand-new aircrafts’.

      Ain’t ‘competition’ grand!

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