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Ninth Rex 737 arrives in Australia

written by Jake Nelson | September 25, 2023

Rex’s ninth 737-800, VH-8JS. (Image: Rex)

Rex has added a ninth 737-800 to its jet fleet, slated to enter service next month.

Registered VH-8JS, the plane touched down at just after 10pm on Friday in Brisbane after a ferry flight from Singapore, where it had undergone repainting and heavy maintenance. The nine-year-old aircraft formerly operated for SilkAir as 9V-MGB.

VH-8JS will support the new Adelaide to Brisbane route, scheduled to launch on 30 October, and Rex expects to add two more 737-800s to its fleet before the end of the financial year as it continues to grow its domestic network.

In a press release, Rex Deputy Chairman John Sharp took a swipe at long-time foe Qantas’s recent travails, including the furore over COVID-19 flight credits and the ACCC’s court action accusing the Flying Kangaroo of selling tickets to 8,000 cancelled flights, saying Australians want an airline like Rex with “over 20 years of safe, reliable service delivered with heartfelt country hospitality and integrity”.

“Besides being consistently Australia’s most reliable airline, we are proud that during COVID, we refunded every passenger who requested a COVID-related refund. We even sent out six reminders to travel agents requesting they initiate refunds for passengers who booked directly through them,” he said.


“We did not sell tickets for phantom flights in a bid to enhance cash flow. We also did not retrench any staff during COVID. On the contrary, we were aggressively recruiting for our domestic operation. We do not ever gouge our passengers even on routes where we are the sole operator and we do not squat on valuable airport slots by gaming the system.

“We are confident that with the continued growth of our network, more and more Australians will experience and switch to the only true Australian carrier they can trust and rely on.”

The news comes not long after Rex reduced services on seven regional routes, accusing Qantas of poaching its pilots. Sharp has previously compared Rex’s relationship to Qantas as “an ant dancing around an elephant”, labelling the Flying Kangaroo a bully that uses its market power to squeeze out smaller airlines.

Sharp has been involved in a longstanding war of words with former Qantas CEO Alan Joyce over the Flying Kangaroo’s decision to launch services on previously Rex-exclusive regional routes. He once said of Joyce that he doesn’t know how he can “look at himself in the mirror some mornings”.

However, he also admitted to Australian Aviation last year that he’s had “tremendous fun” making comments towards rival airlines, arguing he is simply defending his airline that is a “featherweight in the heavyweight section” battling to “stay in the ring”.

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