Regional Express Pty. Ltd.
Rex Airlines logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
ZL RXA REX
Founded2002
Commenced operationsAugust 2002
Operating bases
Fleet size66
Destinations62
Parent companyRegional Express Holdings
HeadquartersMascot, New South Wales, Australia
Key people
  • Lim Kim Hai (Executive Chairman)
  • John Sharp (Deputy Chairman)
  • Neville Howell (COO)
Employees1,089 (2020)[1]
Websitewww.rex.com.au

Regional Express Pty. Ltd., trading as Rex Airlines (and as Regional Express Airlines on regional routes), is an Australian airline based in Mascot, New South Wales. It operates scheduled regional and domestic services. It is Australia's largest regional airline outside the Qantas group of companies and serves all 6 states across Australia. It is the primary subsidiary of Regional Express Holdings.

History

Regional Express' facility at Wagga Wagga Airport in June 2008
Regional Express' facility at Wagga Wagga Airport in June 2008

The airline was established in 2002 when the Australiawide Airlines consortium (set up by former Ansett Australia employees) acquired Hazelton Airlines and Kendell Airlines, before merging the companies and starting operations as Rex in August 2002.[2] In 2005, Australiawide Airlines was renamed Regional Express Holdings and partially floated on the Australian Securities Exchange.[3] On 30 November 2005, Rex announced the acquisition of the Dubbo-based Air Link, another regional airline.[4]

In October 2007, Rex expanded into Queensland when it commenced operations between Brisbane and Maryborough.[5] This exacerbated an existing problem within the company of not having enough pilots to crew its flights (due to the expansion of larger airlines, especially Jetstar and Virgin Blue),[6][7] and Rex suspended operations out of Brisbane[8] (and from Sydney to Cooma during the summer "low season" for this route to the NSW ski fields)[9] in November 2007. To provide a medium-term solution to the pilot shortage, Rex announced that it was establishing a cadet-pilot flight-training programme.[10]

In November 2015, Rex announced the resumption of services to the NSW Snowy Mountains in conjunction with Snowy Mountains Airport Corporation, with the flights resuming in March 2016.[11] In December 2015, Rex announced that it would be commencing operations in Western Australia in February the following year after being selected by the Government of Western Australia to be the operator of regulated RPT routes after a tender process. Initially operating between Perth to Albany and Esperance, in July 2018 the Western Australian operations expanded to include Carnarvon and Monkey Mia. It brought Rex's weekly flights to roughly 1,500 across 60 destinations.[12]

Starting on 6 April 2020, Rex significantly scaled back all its regional services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing to only offer Government subsidised services within Queensland and Western Australia and one flight a week between all 54 regional and remote communities within its route network. Services including Adelaide to Port Augusta, Sydney to Newcastle and Sydney to Armidale were suspended.[13]

In June 2020, eyeing the demise of Tiger Airways, Rex announced interest in expanding into the domestic airline market, with operations to commence in 2021 between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Rex leased six Boeing 737-800s previously leased by Virgin Australia to operate the new services, with the first delivered in November 2020.[14][15] The first jet operations began on 1 March 2021 on the Melbourne to Sydney route.[16] Also in June 2020, Rex announced that it had entered into a memorandum of understanding with ATR to explore options for replacing the Saab 340 fleet with ATR 42 and ATR 72 aircraft.[17] Following the airline's launch of jet services in March 2021, Rex replaced the announced Brisbane jet services in early April with services to Adelaide and Gold Coast, with the start of services occurring between 29 March and 1 April.[18]

On 15 July 2022, Rex announced its intent to purchase the Fly-In, Fly-Out/Charter division of Cobham Aviation Services Australia National Jet Express.[19]

Regional Express Holdings

Regional Express Holdings' head office in Mascot
Regional Express Holdings' head office in Mascot
Regional Express Holdings Limited
TypePublic
ASXREX
IndustryAir travel
Founded2002
HeadquartersSydney, New South Wales, Australia
Key people
Lim Kim Hai, Chairman
John Sharp, Deputy Chairman
Jim Davis, Managing Director
ProductsAirlines, air cargo, air charter
RevenueIncrease A$321.8 million (2020)[20]
DecreaseA$19.397 million (2020)
Number of employees
1,089 (2020)[1]
Websitehttp://www.rex.com.au

Regional Express Holdings Limited is the parent company of a number of airline and associated companies in Australia. It is based in Mascot, New South Wales (a suburb of Sydney) and is a public listed company on the Australian Stock Exchange. Regional Express Holdings arose from the 2001 collapse of Ansett Airlines, which was the parent company of Kendell Airlines and Hazelton Airlines. A group of Singaporean investors and a collection of Australian private investors purchased the Hazelton and Kendell businesses, which were profitable entities before they were taken over by Ansett. The investors formed Australiawide Airlines, which was officially incorporated on 12 February 2002. The assets of the two airlines were purchased by Australiawide and merged to form the airline Regional Express, known as Rex. In 2005 Australiawide offered a percentage of the owners' shares (35 million out of 115 million shares, or 30.43%) to the public in a float.[21][22] At the same time an agreement was reached with the owners of Pel-Air that Australiawide would purchase Pel-Air.[23]

As part of the public float process, Australiawide Airlines' name was changed to Regional Express Holdings. Regional Express Holdings is the owner of a number of other companies.[24] The main asset is Regional Express Pty. Ltd.. Another company is Rex Freight and Charter Pty. Ltd., which is the company that owns Pel-Air. The third subsidiary company is Rex Investment Holdings Pty. Ltd., which owns the Australian Airline Pilot Academies in Wagga Wagga and Ballarat.

Destinations

Main article: List of Rex Airlines destinations

Rex Airlines initially offered regional flights from various bases across Australia using turboprop aircraft, but in March 2021 began flying between its bases using jet aircraft with flights between Melbourne and Sydney. Their current domestic flights consist of destinations in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Gold Coast and Adelaide.

Fleet

Current fleet of Rex Airlines

Current fleet

As of April 2021, the Rex Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft:[25][26]

Rex Airlines fleet
Aircraft In
service
Orders Passengers
Notes
J Y
Total
Boeing 737-800 6 4 8 162 170
168 176
Saab 340A 1 34 34
Saab 340B 29 33 33
34 34
36 36
Saab 340B+WT 27 34 34
Total 63 4

Former fleet

Rex Airlines has previously operated the following aircraft:[citation needed]

Fleet development

Rex operates the world's largest fleet of Saab 340 aircraft.[27] The delivery of 25 ex-American Eagle Airlines Saab 340B Plus aircraft started in mid-2007 and enabled the expansion of services and the phase-out of the airline's Saab 340As, and some older B models. The 340B Plus has a quieter and more comfortable interior.

In July 2008 the company announced that all of its 340As would be phased out; however one rejoined the fleet in July 2015 after a 7-year stint with Rex's subsidiary airline Pel-Air and remains in service as of January 2020.[28][29][30]

The airline also previously operated some Fairchild Metro 23 aircraft seating 19 passengers, but the aircraft were later phased out.

By October 2020, the airline operated an all-Saab 340 fleet with three variants of the type,[30] though prior in the year during June 2020, Rex announced it was leasing six Boeing 737-800s with the first delivered in November 2020, and the further five to be delivered by March 2021 in order to begin operations with jet aircraft.[14]

Incidents and accidents

Flight school

Australian Airline Pilot Academy hangar at Wagga Wagga Airport
Australian Airline Pilot Academy hangar at Wagga Wagga Airport
Australian Airline Pilot Academy Piper PA-28-161 Warrior III at Wagga Wagga
Australian Airline Pilot Academy Piper PA-28-161 Warrior III at Wagga Wagga
Retired Rex Saab 340B at the Australian Airline Pilot Academy, Wagga Wagga
Retired Rex Saab 340B at the Australian Airline Pilot Academy, Wagga Wagga

In November 2007, Regional Express Airlines and Mangalore Airport Pty Limited created a joint venture pilot academy called the Civil Aviation Training Academy, based at Mangalore Airport in Victoria.[34] In April 2008, Regional Express Airlines fully acquired the Civil Aviation Training Academy and it was renamed to Australian Airline Pilot Academy.[35]

On 18 February 2009, Regional Express Airlines announced that the Australian Airline Pilot Academy (AAPA) would be relocated from Mangalore Airport to Wagga Wagga Airport in partnership with the City of Wagga Wagga starting in April 2009.[36][37]

On 27 May 2010, the AAPA campus at Wagga Wagga Airport was officially opened by Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Anthony Albanese.[38]

On 19 November 2019, AAPA purchased ST Aerospace Academy Australia at Ballarat Airport in Victoria, taking it over as a Second Campus.[39]

In addition to training aircraft, the flight school has five flight simulators, including a full motion Saab 340 simulator. There is also one retired Saab 340B at Wagga Wagga used as a training aid.

Training fleet

As of December 2021, the Australian Airline Pilot Academy operates the following aircraft:[40]

Australian Airline Pilot Academy
Aircraft In
service
Location
Cessna 152 1 Ballarat
Cessna 172S 14 Ballarat
Piper PA-28 Warrior 16 Wagga Wagga
Piper PA-44 Seminole 9 Ballarat and Wagga Wagga
Beechcraft King Air C90GTi 1 Ballarat
Beechcraft Super King Air B200 1 Wagga Wagga

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Rex Airlines Work Place Gender Equality 2020" (PDF). Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  2. ^ Flight International 12–18 April 2005
  3. ^ "Rex Invests in Pel-Air" (Press release). Regional Express. 30 August 2005. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012.
  4. ^ "Rex Acquires Air Link" (Press release). Regional Express. 30 November 2005. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012.
  5. ^ "Rex Touches Down in Queensland" (Press release). Regional Express. 8 October 2007. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012.
  6. ^ "Rex Warns of Looming Catastrophic Shortage of Pilots in Australia" (Press release). Regional Express. 9 October 2007. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012.
  7. ^ "Presentation at Press Conference held on 7 November 2007" (PDF) (Press release). Regional Express. 7 November 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 February 2012.
  8. ^ "Rex Announces Suspension of Maryborough Service due to Pilot Shortage" (Press release). Regional Express. 5 November 2007. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012.
  9. ^ "Ongoing Pilot Shortage Forces Regional Express to Temporarily Suspend 'Snowy Mountains' Service" (Press release). Regional Express. 31 October 2007. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012.
  10. ^ "Rex and Mangalore Airport Announce Creation of Pilot Academy" (Press release). Regional Express. 1 November 2007. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012.
  11. ^ "Rex to commence services to the Snowy Mountains" (PDF) (Press release). Regional Express. 19 November 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 March 2016.
  12. ^ "Carnarvon and Monkey Mia to benefit from community airfares". Government of Western Australia. 25 June 2018.
  13. ^ "Regional Express to continue servicing regional airports after Government offers COVID-19 lifeline". ABC News. Australia. 21 April 2020.
  14. ^ a b "REX ready to enter jet set". Airliner World (December 2020): 19.
  15. ^ Melanko, Ashleigh (30 September 2020). "Regional Express (ASX:REX) locks in six Boeing 737-800 NG aircrafts [sic]". The Market Herald. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  16. ^ "Rex locks in six Boeing 737-800 NG for domestic jet operations" (Press release). Regional Express. 20 September 2020. Archived from the original on 30 November 2020.
  17. ^ "Rex board has approved plans for domestic operations" (Press release). Regional Express. 29 June 2020. Archived from the original on 24 September 2020.
  18. ^ Flynn, David (1 March 2021). "Rex expands Sydney-Melbourne flights to Gold Coast, Adelaide". Executive Traveller. Business Travel Media Pty Ltd. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  19. ^ "REX TO PURCHASE NATIONAL JET EXPRESS, REGIONAL SERVICES ARM OF COBHAM AVIATION SERVICES AUSTRALIA". 15 July 2022. Retrieved 16 July 2022.
  20. ^ Regional Express Holdings Limited (30 September 2020). "Regional Express Holdings Limited 2020FY Annual Report" (PDF). The Rex Group. Retrieved 26 February 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. ^ Rex Initial Public Offering Media Release retrieved 26 September 2007.
  22. ^ Rex Share Offer Media Release retrieved 26 September 2007.
  23. ^ Rex Invests in Pel-Air Media Release retrieved 26 September 2007.
  24. ^ Regional Express Holdings Corporate structure retrieved 12 May 2020.
  25. ^ "Rex Fleet". Regional Express. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  26. ^ "REX (Regional Express) Fleet Details and History". Planespotters.net. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  27. ^ Sandilands, Ben (11 May 2009). "Air safety investigation fail: Wagga REX turbo prop incident". Crikey.
  28. ^ "Rex Announces Sale of SAAB 340A Freighter To Bridges" (Press release). Regional Express. 10 July 2008. Retrieved 24 August 2008.
  29. ^ "Rex Plans to Phase Out Older Saab 340A Aircraft". Rex Media Release (Press release). Regional Express. Retrieved 14 January 2009.
  30. ^ a b "Aircraft Register Advanced Search". Civil Aviation Safety Authority. Australian Government. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  31. ^ "Rex Saab 340 in near-miss with glider". FlightGlobal. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  32. ^ "ATSB finds fatigue cracking in Rex propeller incident". Australian Aviation. 13 April 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  33. ^ "Oil sump coking leads to Saab 340 engine failure". Australian Transport Safety Bureau. 13 August 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  34. ^ "Rex and Mangalore Airport Announce Creation of Pilot Academy". Regional Express. 1 November 2007. Archived from the original on 23 July 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
  35. ^ "Rex fully acquires pilot training academy". Regional Express. 21 May 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
  36. ^ "REX to relocate pilot academy". News Limited. Weekly Times Now. 18 February 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
  37. ^ "REX t construct pilot academy at Wagga Wagga". Regional Express. 18 February 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
  38. ^ "Reaching for the sky". The Daily Advertiser. 28 May 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  39. ^ "More pilots will be trained in Ballarat after Regional Express extends its training academy". The Courier. 19 November 2019. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  40. ^ "Aircraft fleet". Australian Airline Pilot Academy. Retrieved 10 December 2021.

Bibliography

Media related to Rex Airlines at Wikimedia Commons