Australia’s Rex Airlines signs LOI for two Boeing 737-800s

A Rex Airlines Boeing 737 is loaded at Melbourne Airport.
Nick-D, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – Australian regional carrier and major Saab 340 operator Rex Airlines has recently signed a LOI (Letter Of Intent) to add a further two Boeing 737-800 aircraft into their jet fleet.

With the expected deliveries to occur in June and July of this year, Rex Airlines’ total fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft will then increase to nine aircraft.

Two more planned

As recently announced by Rex Airlines, the company has signed an LOI for two Boeing 737-800 aircraft with an unspecified lessor.

The Aussie regional giant currently operates seven Boeing 737-800 aircraft, along with a robust and enormous fleet of 58 Saab 340 twin turboprop regional aircraft.

Rex Deputy Chairman, the the Hon John Sharp AM, said the following on the airline’s decision to go for more: “Rex’s domestic jet services have been performing very strongly and have been profitable in the past four months.”

“The travelling public has been crying out for our reliable and affordable services in the light of the shameless price gouging by Qantas and these new additions will help to alleviate the situation.”

“We are still deciding where to deploy these additional aircraft and will explore all options.”

Received their seventh in 2022

With the Boeing 737-800 being a strong performer in the Rex Airlines fleet, and going as far as seeing great profits, the new addition of further two Boeing 737s will likely be a smart move by the airline.

The company received their seventh of the type back in August of 2022, with the aircraft in question being a then 7.8-year-old VH-MFM.

The aircraft, was ferried as 2-WTFL from Montepellier, France (MPL) to Brisbane, Australia (BNE), where it arrived on August 30th.

The delivery was flown through the UAE and Malaysia before entering Australia. The ex-Jet Airways (9W), Vistara (UK), and Samoa Airways (OL) airframes underwent heavy maintenance checks at an engineering facility in Montepellier (MPL) before being painted in the orange and blue Rex livery.

Additionally, the 7th Boeing 737-800, VH-MFM, became the youngest Boeing 737 of the seven to join Rex’s Boeing fleet. The addition also enabled Rex to add more capacity on the flights between Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney.

For the seventh delivery in August of 2022, Deputy Chairman of Rex, John Sharp, said the following:-

“Our seventh aircraft allows us to meet the ever-increasing demand for Rex’s services given the shocking reliability on both Qantas and Virgin Australia.”

Sharp added: “Demand for Rex flights is so great that we are urgently looking for another two Boeing 737-800 NGs, which we hope to deploy by Q2-Q3 of this Financial Year.”

Thus, the recent announcement of a signed LOI for two more aircraft does come as a shock.

Increased profitability with domestic jet operations

The Australian regional carrier Rex airlines earlier announced its unaudited figures from November 22 which have shown a further increase in profitability for its domestic Boeing 737 jet operations.

At the same time, the Saab 340 turboprop fleet continues to operate with an overall loss. In their past financial announcement of November 2022, Rex airlines stated that their regional Saab operations would return to monthly profitability by Q3 of FY 2023.

In last month’s announcement, it appears the carrier has brought this projection forward, saying: “The Company believes that the regional Saab operations will return to monthly overall profitability in the current quarter.”

In their statement the carrier reported that its Profit Before Tax (PBT) improved from about $2 million to $2.8 million.

This makes November the third consecutive month that the airline’s domestic jet operations have been overall profitable since the jet operations resumed in February 2022.

By Adrian Olstad 5 Min Read
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