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Rex to fly Adelaide–Sydney with new 737s

written by Adam Thorn | May 29, 2023

Victor Pody shot this Rex 737, VH-MFM.

Rex will launch daily flights between Adelaide and Sydney on 29 June after receiving two more 737s.

The move, which will take its Boeing fleet to nine, will provide additional competition to Qantas, which flies between the two cities up to eight times a day; Jetstar, which flies up to four; and Virgin, up to seven.

Rex first launched capital city flights in March 2021 after securing $150 million in investment. However, the move triggered a furious row with Qantas, with the smaller airline accusing its bigger rival of “predatory” behaviour for apparently responding by launching services on previously Rex-exclusive routes.

“This new route brings us one step closer to our ambition to fly between every capital city in Australia,” said Rex deputy chairman John Sharp. “More new routes will be announced shortly.”

Rex said the service would open up connections between regional NSW and Adelaide (via Sydney); between regional SA and Sydney (via Adelaide); and between Adelaide and Brisbane (via Sydney).


A $99 launch fare is on sale until 30 June 2023 for travel until 31 July 2023. Qantas typically charges from $199 in economy for the same flight.

Adelaide Airport’s managing director, Brenton Cox, said Rex had shown its strong support for its local market after initially flying from the SA capital to Melbourne in 2021.

“This service provides South Australian passengers with more choice when flying on our second most popular route and will start in time for the July school holiday peak,” he said.

Australian Aviation reported in February how Rex would expand its capital city network with new jet aircraft.

“Rex’s domestic jet services have been performing very strongly and have been profitable in the past four months,” said Sharp then.

“The travelling public has been crying out for our reliable and affordable services in the light of the shameless price gouging by Qantas, and these new additions will help to alleviate the situation.

“We are still deciding where to deploy these additional aircraft and will explore all options.”

Rex has long spoken of its ambitions to expand its 737 operations.

Last year, chairman Lim Kim Hai even suggested its fleet could grow to 30 aircraft over the coming five to seven years.

Sharp revealed the expansion was made possible because COVID-19 caused “thousands” of aircraft to hit the market at low prices, with lessors “happy to accept any price”.

The pandemic also led to Rex being able to hire staff recently made redundant from larger rivals Qantas and Virgin.

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