Regional Express (Rex) has gatecrashed the country’s busiest domestic airline route between Sydney and Melbourne. Since the start of March, they have been busy flying the 90-minute sector, trying to snatch market share off incumbent airlines Qantas, Jetstar, and Virgin Australia.
Normally, there is enough two-way traffic between Sydney and Melbourne to make this domestic route the second busiest in the world. Last year, traffic was down to one or two flights a day. Now it is coming back. In April, airlines on the route flew almost 600,00 passengers over the month.
Since starting their Boeing 737-800 services between the two cities, Rex’s fares have been extremely competitive and with the best available. Jetstar’s lead-in fare is often cheaper but add checked-in luggage and a coffee, and Rex’s all-inclusive fares normally come out on top. Whilst Virgin lately has released some exceptionally low fare which include, baggage and frequent flyers points and tends to match all Rex’s airfares promotions initiatives.
Rex’s arrival on this route is a win for travellers. It has put downward pressure on fares, not just in the economy cabin but also in the business class cabin. Now, Rex is firing a rocket across the bows of its competitors, offering AU$39 fares on the Melbourne-Sydney sector. That fare includes 23kg of checked-in baggage and refreshments onboard.
“Since our entry into the domestic market, the cosy duopoly has been completely
disrupted,” Rex’s John Sharp says in a statement. The airline also notes a significant reduction in average airfares in all the domestic routes that Rex now flies its Boeings. In addition to Melbourne-Sydney, this includes Melbourne-Adelaide, Sydney-Gold Coast, and Melbourne-Gold Coast.
“The resulting copycat moves from our competitors will mean that there will be hundreds of thousands of $39 fares available.”
With typical Rex bashfulness, Mr Sharp adds, “This is why Rex is good for Australia and why Australia needs Rex.”