The airline set to tackle Qantas touches down in Sydney

Regional Express, running services for towns of 140 people to now running services to cities of 5 million people. The Australian airline, which mainly runs services partially on goverement subsidies to rural and outback communities throughout the land down under has ventured into something a bit bigger, the 3rd biggest air route in the world connecting Australia two largest cities Sydney and Melbourne. So how did we get here?

The story starts with a very familiar airline, Virgin Australia. The troubled airline’s subsidy Tigerair started operating in 2007 to compete against Jetstar, Qantas’s low-cost subsidy. Originally an independent airline Tiger faced many issues which in all honesty was completely their fault. In 2011 one of their A320’s flew too close to another aircraft, triggering alarms while during the same year another two of their aircraft flew below minimum altitude at both Melbourne Airport’s (Tullamarine and Avalon). The following month another one of their A320’s flew too close to another 767 which prompted the Australian aviation safety body (CASA) to ground the troubled airline during the middle of the school holidays. Tiger gained some momentum over the years but was ultimately axed during the COVID crises by Virgin Australia. This led the way for a new 4th carrier to enter into the market, here’s where REX comes in

Regional Express like I have mentioned has always operated regional routes, usually competing against the flying kangaroo. Rex has accused Qantas of coming into small markets where Rex has a monopoly and there isn’t enough demand for two airlines then thinning them out so much that either no airline succeeds or Qantas succeeds. What Rex has done here is try to do here is try to take one of Qantas’s most profitable routes and challenge them on price, comfort and value for money and with $79 fares for luggage, food and seat selection it’s hard to beat by any of the airlines really.

So today Rex made it’s maiden journey from Melbourne to Sydney using it’s newly painted 737-800 as ZL18, touching down in Sydney 5 minutes ahead of schedule. And where did it’s new aircraft come from? Remember the airline I talked about at the start, Virgin Australia? Yep, they’ve already bought 4 of their jets, with quite possibly more on the way. Rex will initially operate 3 return flights from Melbourne to Sydney a day however this will likely expand as demand bounces back. The airline is starting routes from Melbourne to Gold Coast and Adelaide and from Sydney to Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour, all of which are Qantas/Jetstar strong holds. The airline is also considering flights from Perth to Geraldton, Melbourne to Devonport and Sydney to both Tamworth and Canberra

Rex is flying high during difficult times full image credit


Interesting! I can’t wait to see how this new airline fairs in the competitive airline industry…


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