Rex is showing no signs of slowing on the launch of domestic capital city flights, with six Boeing 737s currently under its wing and firm plans to expand this to eight jets by September 2021, after signing a letter of intent with an undisclosed lessor for two further Boeing 737 jets.
The current batch of six jets spend their time darting between Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and the Gold Coast, though the recent lockdown of the eastern states have thrown a spanner into the schedule.
The airline also recently unveiled a new Melbourne-Canberra and Sydney-Canberra route which is served by the smaller Saab 340s, but with the potential to swap the Boeing 737 jets on during the morning and afternoon peaks.
Two more jets to join in September, opening up more opportunities
Rex’s seventh and eighth Boeing 737s, earmarked for delivery in September 2021 (delayed from July 2021), will enable the airline to expand to even more locations. It’s unlikely Rex will take on Perth just now, but Brisbane or other leisure destinations along the eastern states are all fair game.
Rex promises the new routes could include “other capital cities, large regional centres and popular leisure destinations”, with “the new routes to be announced shortly.”
It’s expected that Rex’s upcoming new additions will still be ex-Virgin Australia planes, which share an identical cabin layout with eight familiar Business Class seats at the front.
The airline also remains coy on its next new destinations, suggesting that it is still open to discussions with various airports. Considerations include gate availability, airport costs, and the potential to develop new lounges should the need arise. Rex is known to negotiate strongly on terms before starting new routes.
We have almost daily requests from major cities all over Australia for Rex’s services and we will work with all airports that are prepared to establish a good partnership with us.Hon. John Sharp AM, Rex Deputy Chairman, 22 April 2021
Rex’s capital city expansion dreams are slowly fitting into place. Even though domestic travel continues to ramp up for Qantas and Virgin Australia (and trans-Tasman as well, for the Red Roo) over the last few months, recent events have shown us just how quickly that house of cards can come crashing down. It makes sense for Rex to take a cautious approach.
Rex would also strongly benefit from a frequent flyer program, which still doesn’t have a solid launch date – it’s currently tipped to be late 2021 or early 2022 at this stage.
What are your thoughts on Rex’s fleet expansion? Let us know in the comments below.