Rex’s newest Sydney-Canberra route is now in full swing; a move that is estimated to provide a direct annual economic boost of nearly $200 million, according to consultancy firm Urbis.
The airline’s entry into the 240km-long route marks the end of Qantas’ monopoly after Virgin Australia previously withdrew in 2020. Fares are starting as low as $99 one-way, which Rex touts as “less than a third of the average price of a Qantas ticket for the same flight.”
Flights won’t be operated on the newly acquired Boeing 737s, though — the nimble Saab 340 turboprops being rostered on instead. Rex is ambitiously targeting seven daily flights on weekdays, though this could exceed ’10 returns a day if the patronage is good’.
In related news, Rex will also open up a new lounge at Canberra Airport, while also moving into a newer Sydney lounge opposite Gate 49 in the coming months. For now, passengers will be welcomed to Rex’s temporary lounge in the former Canberra International Departures Lounge.
Capital city competition reaches the next level
Rex’s Deputy Chairman, John Sharp, wasted no time pointing his finger at Qantas and promising the community benefits from his airline’s foray into the capital city battle.
At a time when many small businesses and households are still struggling to make ends meet, our fares will make a world of difference to the community that routinely sees one-way fares close to $1,000 for this short sector.
We believe that on the Sydney–Canberra route alone, Rex will be bringing annual savings of between $60 – $100 million to commuters when numbers return to pre-COVID levels, such is the level of fare gouging being practised.– The Hon. John Sharp AM, Rex Deputy Chairman, 24 March 2021
The ACT Government is said to be providing support to the scheme, with Canberra set to reap the benefits from increased tourism.
We are pleased to welcome REX to Canberra, which is a positive sign they are making an investment in a growing and expanding region.
This new Canberra – Sydney route will offer more choice for our travellers, stimulate jobs and grow the air travel market which is a win-win for us all.– Stephen Byron, Canberra Airport CEO, 24 March 2021