Rex on Friday took delivery of its eighth 737, which is set to be deployed on the airline’s new Melbourne-Hobart route next month.
The aircraft, VH-8KH, departed Singapore on 27 July at 5:07 pm as flight ZL9967 and landed in Brisbane the next day, via a stop in Darwin.
Rex currently flies to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra and the Gold Coast using its 737s but has ambitions to eventually offer a service between every state capital.
The airline has already signed a lease for another jet, with plans to increase its fleet to 11.
“The arrival of our latest 737 means we can continue to strategically grow our domestic network and offer safe and affordable flights to even more Australians,” said Rex’s deputy chairman, John Sharp.
“With our ninth 737 due to be delivered in mid-September and the possibility of taking another two 737s this financial year, we continue to build depth and added resilience to our domestic operations.
“As we achieve greater scale, it enhances our competitive ability and allows us to offer the best value-for-money airfares of any airline in Australia.”
Rex has been deploying its 737 fleet on capital city routes in an effort to compete with Qantas and Virgin, recently commencing flights between Sydney and Adelaide.
A Melbourne-Hobart service is slated to commence on 17 August.
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.
The fiery war-of-words saw Qantas CEO Alan Joyce mock Rex’s “empty aircraft” while Rex deputy chairman John Sharp questioned how Joyce could “look at himself in the mirror some mornings”. Qantas has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
It comes after Australian Aviation reported this week how Fair Work signed off on two Rex enterprise agreements covering domestic pilots and National Jet Express logistics.
The Rex Domestic Pilots’ Enterprise Agreement was supported by almost 75 per cent of the pilot body in mid-June, while the NJE Logistics Enterprise Agreement was approved by 100 per cent of affected employees.
“Finalising the Rex Domestic Pilot Agreement marks a significant step given the intended expansion of the domestic operation, and I would like to extend my appreciation to the pilots for their dedication and commitment to the business,” said Rex chief operating officer Neville Howell.
Chris Hine, managing director of NJE, said the NJE Logistics Enterprise Agreement is the first to be successfully voted in since Rex purchased the FIFO and charter operator (formerly known as Cobham) last year.