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Rex makes FIFO push into NSW

written by Jake Nelson | April 22, 2024

NJE is expanding its use of the Dash-8 Q400 in Queensland. (Image: NJE)

Rex FIFO and charter subsidiary National Jet Express (NJE) is expanding its reach into NSW.

The airline will operate a weekly charter flight using its Dash 8-400NG aircraft from Brisbane to Orange, in the NSW Central West, for mining and civil contractor SEE Civil. It will be the eighth destination for NJE on the east coast since it began Queensland operations last July.

“We are delighted to be bringing NJE’s state-of-the-art De Havilland Dash 8-400NG aircraft into Orange,” said NJE’s interim chief operating officer, Robin Furber.

“Rex has a proud and long history of services to Orange via our scheduled services to Sydney. This charter service further grows our Group’s presence in the region.”

NJE, which was bought by Rex in 2022, currently operates nine Dash 8-400NGs as well as four British Aerospace 146s and three Dash 8-100s and recently took delivery of a seventh Embraer E190 to expand its jet fleet.

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“The Dash 8-400NG aircraft has capacity for up to 82 passengers and with its jet-like speeds and modern, comfortable passenger cabin, it has become the aircraft of choice for the mining, resources and construction industry,” the airline said.

“The Dash 8-400NG sits in stark contrast to the ageing 20 to 30-year-old aircraft operated by NJE’s competitors.

“Given the ongoing strong demand for NJE’s services, NJE is committed to expanding its fleet of Dash 8-400NG and Embraer E190 aircraft.”

Rex has been leveraging NJE to take on Alliance in Queensland, with a major contract announced in May last year to provide services to BHP Mitsubishi Alliance in the Sunshine State. The first flights under the new contract took off in July.

The airline purchased NJE in 2022 for $48 million after the Flying Kangaroo announced a bid for the rival FIFO operator; that deal, though, was nixed in April last year by the ACCC. Qantas and Alliance later walked away from it in one of the first major decisions for new CEO Vanessa Hudson.

Rex in September also announced plans to use NJE planes to alleviate delays in its WA regional services.

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