New domestic challenger Rex (Regional Express) is adding three new routes from today, barely a month after its inaugural Sydney-Melbourne flights took off on its newly-acquired Boeing 737s.

Starting this week, between 29 March and 1 April 2021, travellers will be able to fly Melbourne-Adelaide, plus both Sydney and Melbourne to the Gold Coast. The airline is also launching Sydney-Canberra flights from 19 April.

Fares on the Boeing 737 flights kick off from $69 in Economy and $299 in Business Class, which will utilise Virgin’s older seats at the front, minus the ‘Virgin’ branding, of course.

Take out the ‘Virgin’ logo on the seat and add ‘Rex’ to the headrest: that’s Rex Business Class.

Although Economy passengers will settle for complimentary snacks, water, tea, coffee and a 23kg baggage allowance, Business Class travellers can tuck into ‘country-inspired’ hot meals, served on a disposable tray.

The ‘weekly showcase’ of meals includes gourmet ingredients such as artisan cheeses from Bruny Island and Gippsland, and wines sourced from smaller boutique vineyards across Australia

Rex currently has lounges in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide Airports, which are now open again for business. At this stage, only the Gold Coast will be served by Rex’s domestic fleet without a lounge in place.

Here are the details of Rex’s upcoming flights, with bookings already open. Note that flight times and numbers may vary over time.

Rex’s Gold Coast-Sydney flights

  • Flights start from Thursday 1 April 2021
  • ZL533 departs Gold Coast at 9:30am and arrives at Sydney 1pm
  • ZL551 departs Gold Coast at 2pm and arrives at Sydney 4:30pm
  • ZL520 leaves Sydney 8:30am and lands at the Gold Coast 8:50am
  • ZL540 leaves Sydney 12:30pm and lands at the Gold Coast 12:50pm
  • Fares start from A$69 in Economy and A$299 in Business
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Rex’s Gold Coast-Melbourne flights

  • Flights start from Monday 29 March 2021
  • ZL669 departs Gold Coast at 10:15am and lands in Melbourne at 1:30pm
  • ZL689 departs Gold Coast at 4pm and lands in Melbourne at 7:15pm
  • ZL658 leaves Melbourne 8:30am and arrives at the Gold Coast at 9:35am
  • ZL680 leaves Melbourne 2:15pm and arrives at the Gold Coast at 3:20pm
  • Fares start from A$79 in Economy and A$349 in Business

Rex’s Adelaide-Melbourne flights

  • Flights start from Wednesday 31 March 2021
  • ZL402 departs Adelaide at 6:00am and lands in Melbourne at 7:50am
  • ZL444 departs Adelaide at 1:30pm and lands in Melbourne at 3:20pm
  • ZL437 leaves Melbourne 11:45am and arrives in Adelaide at 12:40pm
  • ZL491 leaves Melbourne 8pm and arrives in Adelaide at 8:55pm
  • Fares start from A$69 in Economy and A$299 in Business

Summing up

Rex’s new routes aren’t all that surprising, although we would have expected Brisbane to come onto the map first to complete the ‘Golden Triangle’. But Adelaide makes sense given Rex’s lounge there, and the Gold Coast is one of Australia’s busiest leisure destinations.

At the time of writing, Rex has just 6 Boeing 737s in its fleet. The airline is pushing its jets hard and there will be little room for error, as delays will quickly snowball without any spare aircraft to fall back on.

But it’s an encouraging sign of growth for Rex, which has previously hinted at plans to grow to as many as 40 Boeing 737s by 2022, with flights between every capital city in Australia. The airline is looking to take in two more jets by June 2021.

Rex Route Map 25 March 2021
Rex’s full network map as of 25 March 2021.
Rex expands domestic network to Gold Coast, Adelaide was last modified: August 24th, 2023 by Brandon Loo