Hobart welcomes Rex Airlines inaugural flight

Aerial view of a Rex Airlines Boeing 737 taking off.
Photo Credit: Rex Airlines

Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania, has officially become the sixth capital city to join the rapidly growing domestic network of Rex Airlines.

The inaugural flight, ZL709, originating from Melbourne, touched down at Hobart Airport, ushering in a new era of connectivity and travel options for both Tasmanians and visitors.

Reception at Hobart Airport

Dignitaries and officials gathered at Hobart Airport to mark the occasion, including Tasmanian Premier and Minister for Tourism, the Hon Jeremy Rockliff MP, Rex Deputy Chairman, the Hon John Sharp AM, Hobart Airport Chief Executive Officer, Norris Carter, and Tourism Tasmania Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Clark.

Operated by a Boeing 737-800NG, this newly launched route strengthens the link between Tasmania and the mainland, adding an impressive 128,000 seats annually between Melbourne and Hobart.

The positive response from travelers on both sides of the Bass Strait is evident through robust forward bookings on the route.

With Economy fares starting at just $79 and Business class seats from $349, the appeal of Rex’s offering is evident as these fares provide an attractive alternative to the often exorbitant prices and uncertain services offered by other airlines.

Notably, Rex flights for the upcoming weekend are already nearly at full capacity, highlighting the demand for the airline’s reasonably priced services, coupled with a distinctive touch of country-style hospitality.


Comments by Tasmanian Premier

Tasmanian Premier and Tourism Minister Jeremy Rockliff expressed his enthusiasm for the new route, emphasizing the enhanced travel options it provides for both Tasmanians and visitors.

He highlighted how this development is a testament to the resilience and rebound of Tasmania’s tourism industry from the challenges posed by the pandemic.

“It is fantastic to see this service begin ahead of the busy spring-summer tourist season, and I thank Rex for its confidence in Tasmania,” the Premier said. 

“These additional flights will also provide the opportunity to further boost Tasmanian service exports and deliver more options for freight.” 

The addition of this new flight service to Hobart supports the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s access and aviation strategy.

The state government strategy is focused on building capacity and frequency to and from Tasmania with a number of operators, providing more choice for Tasmanian communities and visitors, and creating a competitive environment for flight prices.

Tapping into the Victorian market

The newly established connection to Victoria, the largest visitor market for Tasmania, opens up exciting possibilities for travelers to explore the unique experiences that the island state has to offer.

Victoria is Tasmania’s largest visitor market making up 31 per cent of total visitation, with the island  state welcoming nearly 400,000 visitors from Victoria in the year to June 2023.

This expanded service arrives just in time for the bustling warmer months, creating opportunities for local businesses to thrive and for Tasmanians to venture interstate.

The addition of Rex to the Hobart – Melbourne route is not only a boost for travelers but also signifies a positive impact on the competition landscape.

Hobart Airport’s CEO, Norris Carter, welcomed Rex Airlines, acknowledging that their presence brings a fresh wave of competition, choice, and lower fares for the Hobart – Melbourne route and connecting flights beyond Melbourne.

Sarah Clark, representing Tourism Tasmania, also expressed excitement about the expanded services offered by Rex in Tasmania.

The introduction of the new Hobart route enhances traveler options, especially as the seasons transition into spring and summer, when Tasmania’s natural beauty truly shines.


Rex Airlines, a full-service carrier, sets itself apart by offering passengers a checked baggage allowance of 23 kilos and complimentary on-board refreshments.

With Hobart becoming the fourth Tasmanian destination for Rex, joining Devonport, Burnie, and King Island, the airline continues to reinforce its commitment to providing comprehensive and accessible travel options across Australia.

Rex is Australia’s largest independent regional and domestic airline operating a fleet of 58 Saab 340 and 8 Boeing 737-800NG aircraft to 57 destinations throughout all states in Australia

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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