Rex adds Sydney-Brisbane flights in domestic expansion
Rex is spreading its jet-powered wings into Queensland.
What we'll be covering
Rex is bringing its Boeing 737s to Brisbane, with Brisbane-Melbourne flights taking off from 17 December 2021. Brisbane-Sydney will follow soon after, from 20 December 2021.
Those Melbourne flights will start at just $79 in Economy Class, with Business Class also available from $299. Sydney starts even lower, with lead-in Economy Class tickets from $69.
Brisbane-Melbourne flights will run twice a day on weekdays, with daily return services on weekends. On the Brisbane-Sydney route, Rex plans three daily flights on weekdays, and double-daily returns on weekends.
All of our launch flights to new destinations have proved to be enormously popular and I have no doubt Brisbane will be the same, particularly with such affordable fares. Rex is a full service airline so these fares represent incredible value … as all fares on our domestic jet network include free 23kg checked baggage and refreshments on board.– Hon John Sharp AM, Rex Deputy Chairman, 15 November 2021
The airline is also reawakening a host of existing routes attached to Sydney and Melbourne. From 15 November, the following flights are back in the air, among others:
- Sydney to Melbourne
- Sydney to Canberra
- Melbourne to Canberra
- Sydney to Coffs Harbour
- Sydney to Port Macquarie
As previously reported, flights between the Gold Coast and both Sydney and Melbourne resume from 17 December 2021. That’s in line with the easing of Queensland’s border restrictions on fully-vaccinated travellers.
Rex has also indicated that it hopes to open a lounge at Brisbane Airport. However, the airline is yet to finalise those plans. It’s expected Rex may review this opportunity as passenger volumes grow from the Queensland capital.
The carrier’s long-awaited frequent flyer program is also yet to take off. But here’s a peek at what we expect Rex will offer its regular travellers. Continue reading this article to learn more about Rex’s domestic jet flights.
Where does Rex fly its Boeing 737 jets?
By the end of 2021, Rex will serve six cities using its Boeing 737s. These include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra and the Gold Coast. All Rex Boeing 737 flights offer Business Class, ‘Rextra Legroom’ Economy Class, and standard Economy Class.
While the Sydney-Canberra corridor is served by Saab turboprops, Melbourne-Canberra flights get Boeing 737s.
Rex suggests that as its domestic jet fleet grows, new destinations are on the horizon. Perth has previously been name-checked, as was Brisbane when Rex first started flying Boeing 737s.
What’s it like in Rex Boeing 737 Business Class?
If you’ve flown Virgin Australia Boeing 737 Business Class, then you’ll know just what to expect in Rex Business Class. With eight comfortable recliners in a 2-2 configuration, the cosy cabin spans two rows.
At the pointy end, Rex serves a full meal with an emphasis on Australian produce and wines. It’s hard to fault Rex on value for these short flights, even though food is served in recyclable packaging.
Rex’s Boeing 737 cabin crews are a spirited bunch. While many are new to Rex itself, they’re not new to aviation. That’s because when Rex first went on a hiring spree, many other airlines were shrinking. This allowed it to attract crew members who had previously flown for larger airlines like Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia.
What’s it like in Rex Boeing 737 Economy Class?
With Rex Business Class a spitting image of Virgin Australia, the same is true in Economy Class. In fact, the interior is more or less identical! There are 168 seats behind the divider, in a 3-3 configuration. These include five rows of ‘Rextra Legroom’, with boosted personal space. Think of it just like Virgin Australia’s, Economy X, but on Rex.
Rex offers a complimentary snack and a drink on its domestic flights. Some beverages such as soft drinks, beer and wine come at a charge. Payment is currently by cash only, so pack some coins or a small note.
Do Rex passengers get lounge access?
There are currently a few ways to access the Rex Lounge in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide:
- Purchase a Rex Lounge membership for AU$329 a year.
- Buy single entry passes at $33 a visit before a Rex flight (or half price if you fly Economy Flex).
- Purchase a Rex Business Class fare, which includes two hours of access to the lounge.
- Use a Priority Pass visit to enter the lounge before any flight on any airline.
Does Rex have a frequent flyer program? Can we earn points?
Ah, here’s the main sticking point. Rex does not have a personal frequent flyer program right now. A previous program, in the early 2000s, was called Rex Flyer. Up for grabs was one free flight after nine sectors were flown – a fairly simple premise. Point Hacks understands a new Rex Flyer program is in the works for 2022.
Nowadays, there’s the Rex Business Flyer program which is, of course, aimed solely at businesses with an ABN. For every 18 flights your business notches up, two Reward Flights are yours for free (except for taxes).
Currently, Rex flights don’t earn any other form of points or status credits. Purchasing the flights on a rewards credit card is arguably the best way to get a small return on your ticket cost.
Rex is certainly a feisty disruptor in the domestic travel market. The airline had a shaky start in March 2021 when it launched the Boeing 737 routes, as a number of lockdowns soon followed. But with the light at the end of the tunnel for domestic travel restrictions, we’ll see how much Rex is able to expand in 2022.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
This article was originally written by Brandon Loo, with news and updates by Chris Chamberlin.