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Rex launches Brisbane–Adelaide 737 service

written by Adam Thorn | October 30, 2023

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

Rex formally launched its inaugural service from Brisbane to Adelaide on Monday.

The 737-800, VH-8JS, departed the Queensland capital at 1:47pm as flight ZL913 and is due to land at 4:40pm. VH-8JS is the business’ ninth and latest, 737 and formerly operated for SilkAir as 9V-MGB.

Rex said the new daily service would add 124,000 seats between the two cities and comes weeks after it signed a lease for a tenth 737-800 to expand its capital city network. The airline first launched 737 flights in March 2021 after securing $150 million in investment.

Deputy chairman John Sharp also revealed Monday would mark the start of Rex using larger Dash 8 aircraft from its FIFO subsidiary National Jet Express (NJE) to fly passenger routes traditionally serviced by smaller Saabs.

“NJE will operate Rex’s Perth-Carnarvon flights three times a week,” he said.


“Come 22 November, Queenslanders will also be able to experience first-hand how NJE embraces the Rex ethos of offering outstanding reliability and genuine country hospitality. Rex’s new Brisbane-Cairns service is priced at $149, $56 cheaper than the lowest Qantas fare.

“Access to NJE resources opens up a world of possibilities for Rex and allows us to look closely at the viability of flying to more major Queensland coastal cities and major tourist destinations.

“We will be injecting more Q400NG (Dash 8) aircraft into NJE for Queensland to meet the expanding demand for our services.”

Australian Aviation also reported earlier this month how Rex would significantly expand its FIFO network in Queensland – days after Qantas revealed it would terminate its deal to buy state rival Alliance.

NJE said the new services were a result of it winning “several new contracts” and would launch by the end of next month.

It comes after Rex itself formally acquired FIFO airline Cobham for $48 million in September last year and immediately began increasing its fleet to challenge Alliance.

The new flights are:

  • New twice weekly charter flights Cairns–Townsville–Moranbah as well as an additional weekly Brisbane–Moranbah flight for existing client BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA).
  • New weekly charter flights between Brisbane and Emerald and Moranbah.
  • New weekly charter flights between Brisbane and Rockhampton.
  • Rex said the services will use its “modern and fuel-efficient” Dash 8-400NGs.

“As foreshadowed in Rex’s media releases of 17 May 2023 and 29 August 2023, NJE intends to be the first port of call for resource companies that seek premium, reliable air services in modern aircraft with a greatly reduced carbon footprint,” said Chris Hine, NJE’s managing director.

“These new contracts, so soon after our launch in Queensland in July this year, clearly demonstrate that we are on the right trajectory to achieve our objective.”

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