Rex, Australia’s largest independent regional and domestic airline is to accelerate the introduction of further aircraft to its domestic fleet with plans to commission a seventh Boeing 737-800NG aircraft and advanced discussions underway to lease another two for later this year.
The regional carrier operates a fleet of 61 Saab 340 and six Boeing 737-800NG aircraft to 58 destinations throughout Australia.
The growth of the airline’s fleet follows record high passenger numbers and revenue across both its domestic and regional networks in July with passenger revenues at $13.6m, almost double that of the monthly average of the prior three months at $6.87m. Load factor was at 86% across the entire domestic network.
On regional routes, July’s revenue and passenger numbers were almost identical to that of July 2019, the latest comparative month before the COVID pandemic, with passenger revenue at about $18m on 4% less flying. The revenue per flight and the load factor have both improved by 8% and 7% respectively.
Commenting on these results, Rex’s executive chairman Lim Kim Hai said, “Our phenomenal performance can be attributed in large part to the tie-ups we signed in the prior few months with travel agency groups and corporate accounts. I have every expectation that our numbers will continue to grow sharply over the next few months since July has seen only 30% of the committed monthly passenger contributions from these tie-ups.”
He said later this month Rex will commence servicing Melbourne-Devonport, breaking QantasLink’s monopoly on the route for the last 17 years and that the airline intended to fly to other regional cities that are currently monopolised by QantasLink.
“Rex has made a vow to repay the people of Australia for keeping it afloat with the government support we received throughout COVID,” he said. “We hope that we have started to repay this faith in some small ways by providing a service the travelling public can count on. We are particularly proud of our On Time Performance and low cancellation rates, which are in stark contrast to the total chaos and dysfunctionality of the other carriers with horror stories of planeloads of luggage being lost and passengers sleeping overnight on the floor at airports.”
“Rex is the only airline in Australia, and perhaps only one of five in the world that has not made an operational loss since 2003 up to COVID. Our best-of-class operations are without dispute. With such financial and operational prowess, we look confidently ahead in this fiscal year as we turn the corner on these devastating COVID years.”