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Rex flexes its 737 muscle with new Hobart flights

written by Jake Nelson | June 8, 2023

A Rex 737-800, VH-RQC, takes off. (Image: Rex)

Rex is launching flights from Melbourne to Hobart, expanding its footprint in Tasmania.

The daily Boeing 737 service will begin on 17 August, and adds to Rex’s existing Saab 340 regional services to Burnie, Devonport, and King Island. The 75-minute flights will depart Melbourne at 12:15pm to arrive in Hobart at 1:30, before leaving at 2:15pm to touch down in Melbourne at 3:30.

According to Rex Deputy Chairman John Sharp, the service will provide good connections to Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane flights at less than half the cost of the cheapest Qantas fare.

“Our long-standing commitment to Tasmania spans more than 40 years through our regional airline services. For too long, Hobart has had to endure sky-high airfares because of capacity constraints and price gouging by our competitors,” he said.

“Our new service will provide passengers with affordable fares delivered with Rex’s trademark country hospitality and reliability.”


Jeremy Rockliff, Premier of Tasmania, hailed Rex’s move as a “sign of confidence” in the state’s recovering tourism industry,

“Victoria is our largest visitor market, and this gives even more options for visitors to come down to Tasmania and experience for themselves the amazing experiences we have to offer,” he said.

“Pleasingly, the new service will kick in before the busier warmer months, which will be welcome news for local businesses who will benefit from the increase in trade, as well as Tasmanians looking to head interstate.”

This is the second new 737 route Rex has announced in recent weeks, with flights from Sydney to Adelaide set to commence on 29 June. The airline recently acquired two additional 737s, taking its total Boeing fleet to nine.

Rex has long spoken of its ambitions to expand its 737 operations, with chairman Lim Kim Hai even suggesting last year that 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”.

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.

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