Taking on Australia’s biggest two airlines on the route, Regional Express (Rex) has conducted its first jet flights between Melbourne and Sydney.
Departing Melbourne at 7.21am Monday, and landing in Sydney at 8.25am, flight ZL18 was the first of what will be many Rex flights on the route – nine services daily – and precedes a push into other major cities by the country carrier.
Jenny Milner, a frequent passenger on Rex’s turboprop aircraft between Melbourne and Mildura, was among those on board the first B737 flight along with husband Shane and son Jayden.
“We planned to have a holiday for our anniversary and it just coincided perfectly,” she told Fairfax Media before take-off.
“It’s my preferred airline to come to Melbourne so now we can go to Sydney as often as I like – not having to retrieve my luggage [to change airlines], that makes a huge difference.”
Born out of the 2001 collapse of Ansett, Rex also announced today that it would commence operations from Melbourne and Sydney to the Gold Coast, and Melbourne to Adelaide from the end of March.
“Rex has been around a long time and has a long track record,” Rex deputy chairman John Sharp said at the boarding gate.
“We’re not amateurs, we’re not beginners, we’re not the new boys on the block – all we’re doing is scaling up to a slightly more expanded business.”
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Rex promises a full service airline at Jetstar prices as well as “country hospitality”.
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