Rex Airlines Lands in Devonport

Rex Airlines SAAB 340 touches down at Devonport Airport
Photo Credit: Rex Airlines

LONDON – Australian regional carrier Rex Airlines has touched down in Devonport in the island state of Tasmania, formally inaugurating the new Melbourne-Devonport service. The airline has reported strong forward bookings for its flights across the Bass Strait to northwest Tasmania.

The inaugural service touched down at this morning at 8.10am Australian EST, to be greeted by a traditional water cannon welcome and a host of dignitaries. The aircraft’s early arrival – 10 minutes ahead of schedule – also heralded the return of competition on the route for rival carrier Qantaslink, with a twice-daily weekday service permitting day return in both directions.

The twice-daily weekday service, enabling day return travel in both directions, has fares from a competitive AUD$149 each way.

Management statements

Tasmania’s Devonport Mayor, Annette Rockliff, and Latrobe Mayor, Peter Freshney, also took part in the inaugural celebrations.

“We are delighted to once again be able to offer competitive airfares, reliable services and user-friendly schedules to the long suffering and neglected communities of northern Tasmania who for far too long have been forced to pay exorbitant prices,” said Rex Airlines Deputy Chairman John Sharp.

Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff hailed the airline’s return to Devonport, with the observation that Rex and its predecessor Kendell Airlines had formerly serviced the route from Melbourne between 1989 and 2005.

Premier Rockliff said: “This is a fantastic vote of confidence in Tasmania’s strong tourism industry, especially for the North West and surrounding regions. The direct flights will provide more options for travellers and additional capacity to meet demand and has been warmly welcomed by the Tasmanian community, tourism and business operators.”

“Tasmania’s tourism industry is one of our greatest success stories with nearly 300,000 visitors to the State in April, May and June, and the highest spend for any June quarter on record.”

“These new flights will maintain this momentum and further encourage visitation to the North West and surrounding regions, ensuring the benefits are spread into our regional areas.”

Rex Airlines passengers disembarking at Devonport Airport.
Photo Credits: Rex Airlines

About Devonport, Tasmania

Situated on the northern coastline of the Australian island state, the city of Devonport is the third largest Tasmanian city. It becomes the first port of call (quite literally) for many travellers bound from the mainland, and is home to the Spirit of Tasmania ferry.

Devonport effectively becomes the third destination in Tasmania served by Rex, as the airline already operates frequent services to Burnie and King Island, in the Bass Strait, from Melbourne.

The airline has made no secret of the fact that it is keen to fly to more destinations on the Apple Isle and is currently in discussions with other Tasmanian Airports. the Melbourne-Devonport route inauguration follows a period of tense competition between rival carriers Rex and Qantaslink.

About the author

Len Varley

A former Chief Pilot/Chief Flying Instructor, Len has 35 years experience in diverse aviation roles. Speaks fluent Australian & English! Len is the Assistant Editor for AviationSource.

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