Australia’s REX takes delivery of first jet aircraft

The world’s largest Saab 340 operator has welcomed a Boeing into the fold

Mascot-based Regional Express Airlines (Rex) has accepted its first Boeing 737-800 marking the carrier’s first major step into the domestic market. 

The jet – believed to be a former Virgin Australia example – touched down at Sydney/Kingsford Smith from Melbourne earlier today. 

Virgin Australia
The jet arrived at Sydney/Kingsford Smith Airport around 3.30pm local time today. Rex

The narrowbody is the first of six 737s leased by Rex and will be used for training activities before the proving flight for the Civil Aviation and Safety Authority (CASA) on December 5, 2020. 

The Australian carrier plans to begin flying Melbourne-Sydney return services on March 1 next year and to Brisbane from April. 

John Sharp, the airline’s deputy chairman, said: “Rex has an 18-year track record of leading on time performance and affordable fares in its regional services and for the first time the domestic market can look forward to a safe, reliable air service that is affordable.

The company signed a lease for six examples last month. Rex

“If our services prove successful, we will inject up to ten aircraft into the domestic market by the end of 2021. From there, we intend to develop a full domestic airline network, linking all the capital cities over time.” 

The livery for its domestic airline fleet will be released by the end of the month. 

Rex is Australia’s biggest independent regional airline and operates the world’s largest fleet of 60 Saab 340 aircraft (pre-COVID) on some 1,500 weekly flights to 59 destinations throughout all states in Australia.