Rex has finally unveiled the first of its new golden triangle 737s painted in its new livery.
The Boeing 737-8FE, VH-RQC msn 33797, landed in Sydney at 8:30 am on Christmas Eve, after a transit stop in Brisbane the day before.
It comes after Rex signed off on a $150 million investment in November that will allow it to expand its operations to fly Sydney–Melbourne–Brisbane routes with an initial six leased Boeing 737s.
The business had revealed computer-generated images of what its new 737s would look like, but this is the first time they have been spotted in the flesh.
Rex’s deputy chairman John Sharp called it a “historic moment”.
“Our second 737 is currently being painted by Douglas Aerospace at one of the country’s finest aircraft paint facilities in Wagga Wagga,” said Sharp. “The remaining four 737s are undergoing scheduled checks and will be brought in-country over the next 3 months.
“Rex is bringing its renowned country hospitality to the capital city market, offering twice the value at half the cost. This is the shake-up Australia’s domestic aviation sector has been crying out for and it could not have come at a better time, as Australia struggles to recover from the worst pandemic in the last century.”
Earlier this month, Australian Aviation reported how Rex acquired a “High Capacity Air Operator’s Certificate”, which allows it to fly 737s and any aircraft with more than 38 seats or weighing more than 4,200 kilograms. Its current fleet of 60 Saab 340s carry slightly fewer passengers.
Rex has already begun selling tickets for capital city routes, which will begin on 1 March with nine flights per day between Sydney and Melbourne.
Prices will start from $79 and economy tickets will include checked baggage, food and pre-assigned seating – indicating Rex will pursue a ‘mid-market’ hybrid strategy.
Rex deputy chairman John Sharp said earlier, “By Easter, two additional 737s will be added to expand our domestic network to Brisbane and other capital cities. If all things go as planned, we hope to grow our fleet to 8-10 by the end of 2021.
“Rex will offer all the usual perks of a full-service carrier including eight Business Class seats. All fares include checked baggage allowance, food, pre-assigned seating and online check-in. Lounge access and on-board Wi-Fi will be free for Business Class, whilst Economy passengers can access these options for a small fee.”
In November, Australian Aviation photographer Lenn Bayliss photographed Rex’s first 737 shortly after it had its old Virgin livery removed at Wellcamp and before the regional airline took delivery of it in Sydney on 5 November.
The plane has been flying back and forth between Sydney and Melbourne, likely in preparation for its CASA proving flight.