Regional Express (Rex) will add double-daily Melbourne-Brisbane weekday flights from December 17 as its mainline Boeing 737 network springs back to life.
The airline said the fifth capital city destination in its domestic network was a major step towards realizing its goal of servicing the Sydney-Melbourne-Brisbane “golden triangle”.
The move increases competition on the route with the potential of lower fares for travellers.
The announcement came as the full-service airline reopened its domestic network with flights from Melbourne to Sydney and Canberra, ending the grounding due to COVID-19 of its Boeing 737-800 fleet and allowing hundreds of staff to return to work.
At the same time, it is ramping up its regional network with Sydney-Canberra, Sydney-Port Macquarie and Sydney-Coffs Harbour services restarted along with other flights to NSW regional centres.
Rex will base one of its Boeing 737s in Brisbane and will operate double-daily flights between Melbourne and the Queensland capital during weekdays as well as a return flight on both Saturday and Sunday.
It also revealed it was well advanced with plans to begin flying to major Queensland regional
centres and tourist destinations.
“We have no intention of stopping our growth as we’re determined to make up for time lost due to the pandemic and push ahead with plans to expand our network, particularly in Queensland,” said Rex deputy chairman John Sharp, who noted the Brisbane-based 737 would underpin the Queensland expansion.
“Every time we’ve entered a new market, airfares have fallen dramatically as Qantas and Virgin Australia scramble to match our prices and I have no doubt this will be the case again.
“Consumers are the big winners from competition and Rex will continue to champion the cause of safe, reliable and affordable air travel.”
Rex is offering lead-in $79 fares on its new Melbourne-Brisbane route until November 30 for travel up to April 30 with no Christmas blackout. The airline has also expanded its Rex Reconnect sale until November 30.
“All of our launch flights to new destinations have proved to be enormously popular and I have no doubt Brisbane will be the same, particularly with such affordable fares,” Sharp said.