Australia’s Regional Express (Rex) has secured six ex-Virgin Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft for their upcoming capital city flights, according to information obtained by SamChui.com. Last night two Letters of Intent were signed with Virgin’s former lessors, who cannot be named yet.
The airline, which has solely focussed on regional services, will launch the Sydney-Melbourne flights on 1st March 2021. Onboard each aircraft will be eight Virgin Australia Business Class seats, but a decision on their use is still pending.
The first aircraft will be delivered on 1st November. The remaining four will be gradually phased-in over the following four months.
Three of these aircraft will be deployed in the first phase of Rex’s launch on 1st March 2021 on the Sydney-Melbourne route, with another two aircraft beginning service before Easter.
From there, Rex will continue to grow the domestic fleet in line with the return of passenger demand; they are hoping to see their fleet of 737-800 NGs reach ten by the end of 2021. A spokesman confirmed that once the Sydney-Melbourne services are established (and proving successful) the airline will also launch Sydney-Brisbane services. Canberra, Perth and Adelaide are also on the table, but cannot be confirmed at this time.
Rex hopes to obtain regulatory approval by December. Advanced ticket sales are also envisaged for December, subject to regulatory approval.
Rex recently signed a long-form term sheet with the investment firm PAG Asia Capital to entirely fund their domestic jet operations. The kickstart package has been valued at AUD $151 million ($107.5 million).
Feature Image: An X-Plane rendering of a Rex B737. This is not an official design.