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Sydney storms force Rex passengers to sleep overnight in Canberra

written by Jake Nelson | December 4, 2023

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

Passengers on a Rex flight from Brisbane to Sydney over the weekend were forced to wait overnight in Canberra after storms diverted their plane.

Flight ZL379 on board the 737-800 VH-REX, which was due to arrive in Sydney at 9:05pm on Saturday, was rerouted to Canberra due to severe weather, and touched down at 10:04pm before waiting on the apron until 10:40pm due to a gate reassignment.

The airline was unable to get a curfew dispensation at Sydney Airport to land at 12:25am, which it says was the earliest the flight could have landed after refuelling.

“Rex immediately explored all available contingency plans to try and recover from the disruption. Unfortunately, given the time of the disruption, there were no bus services available to transport passengers to Sydney and no accommodation available in Canberra,” Rex said in a statement.

“Operational restrictions, as flight crew would exceed their regulatory duty imitations, prevented us from operating to Melbourne as an alternate airport or returning to Brisbane.


“Rex is sorry that the travel plans of the 167 customers were severely affected, some of whom had to spend the night at Canberra Airport. Rex senior management were heavily involved in this matter to way past midnight but nothing turned out well in this instance.”

Affected passengers were subsequently offered alternative transportation to Sydney, which left Canberra at 10:30am on Sunday.

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