Regional Express Airlines

Regional Express Airlines

Infobox Airline
airline= REX (Regional Express)
callsign= REX
founded= 2002
parent= Regional Express Holdings Limited
headquarters= Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia
fleet_size= 43
destinations= 29 (three suspended)
key_people= Jim Davis, Managing Director [ [ Rex appoints new MD > AviationRecord > Search Results ] ] Lim Kim Hai, Executive Chairman/ Majority Shareholder [ [ Our Company :: Leadership ] ] Chris Hine, Chief Pilot
website= []

Regional Express Pty Ltd (also known as Rex), is an airline based in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia. It operates scheduled regional services.Flight International 12-18 April 2005] It is Australia's largest regional airline outside the Qantas group of companies and serves the Eastern states and South Australia. Its entire fleet consists of Swedish built Saab 340 turboprop aircraft seating 33, 34 or 36 passengers.


The airline was established in 2002 when the Australiawide Airlines consortium (set up by former Ansett employees) acquired Hazelton Airlines and Kendell Airlines, merged the two companies and started operations in August 2002 as Rex. In 2005, Australiawide Airlines was renamed Regional Express Holdings and partially floated on the Australian Securities Exchange. [ [ Rex Invests in Pel-Air] ] On 30 November, 2005, Rex announced the acquisition of the Dubbo-based Air Link, another regional airline. [ [ Rex Acquires Air Link] ] In October 2007, Rex expanded into Queensland when it commenced operations between Brisbane and Maryborough. [ [ Rex Touches Down in Queensland] retrieved 2007-11-16.] This exacerbated an existing problem within the company of not having enough pilots to crew its flights (due to the expansion of larger airlines, especially Jetstar Airways and Virgin Blue Airlines), [ [ Rex Warns of Looming Catastrophic Shortage of Pilots in Australia] retrieved 2007-11-16.] [ [ Presentation at Press Conference held on 7 November 2007] retrieved 2007-11-16.] and Rex suspended operations out of Brisbane [ Rex Announces Suspension of Maryborough Service due to Pilot Shortage] retrieved 2007-11-16.] (and from Sydney to Cooma, New South Wales during the summer "low season" for this route to the NSW ski fields) [ Ongoing Pilot Shortage Forces Regional Express to Temporarily Suspend 'Snowy Mountains' Service] retrieved 2007-11-16.] in November 2007. To provide a medium-term solution to the pilot shortage, Rex announced that it was establishing a cadet-pilot flight-training programme. [ [ Rex and Mangalore Airport Announce Creation of Pilot Academy] retrieved 2007-11-16.] At the same time, Rex announced the impending retirement of Managing director Geoff Breust. [ Rex Discloses Retirement of its Managing Director] retrieved 2007-11-16.]


from Adelaide, South Australia

*Broken Hill, New South Wales
*Ceduna, South Australia
*Coober Pedy, South Australia
*Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, South Australia
*Mount Gambier, South Australia
*Port Lincoln, South Australia
*Whyalla, South Australia

from Brisbane, Queensland

*Maryborough, Queensland (resumes September 2008)
*Lismore, New South Wales (resumes September 2008cite web | last = | first = | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Rex Announces Network Changes Due to Pilot Shortage | work = | publisher = Regional Express Airlines | date = 2008-02-08 | url = | format = html | doi = | accessdate = 2008-05-04 ] )

from Melbourne, Victoria

*Albury, New South Wales
*Burnie (Wynyard), Tasmania
*King Island, Tasmania
*Griffith, New South Wales (suspended indefinitely)
*Merimbula, New South Wales
*Mildura, Victoria
*Mount Gambier, South Australia
*Wagga Wagga, New South Wales

from Sydney, New South Wales

*Albury, New South Wales
*Ballina, New South Wales
*Broken Hill, New South Wales
*Cooma, New South Wales (suspended indefinitelycite web | last = | first = | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Rex makes cuts to flight schedule | work = Fairfax | publisher = The Daily Advertiser | date = 2008-05-08 | url = | format = html | doi = | accessdate = 2008-05-09 ] )
*Dubbo, New South Wales
*Grafton, New South Wales
*Griffith, New South Wales
*Lismore, New South Wales
*Merimbula, New South Wales
*Mildura, Victoria (to be dropped in November 2008)
*Moruya, New South Wales
*Narrandera, New South Wales
*Orange, New South Wales
*Parkes, New South Wales
*Taree, New South Wales
*Wagga Wagga, New South Wales


Rex operates a large fleet of twin turboprop engined SAAB 340 passenger aircraft of all versions. Several 340Bs, a 340A and all Kendell CRJ-200s and Hazelton Metros were taken out of service following the establishment of Regional Express. Since then the former Kendell Metro fleet has also been gradually phased out of service, with the remaining four aircraft being transferred to Pel-Air in late 2006 and the first half of 2007. [ [ CASA] Australian civil register database. Online search conducted 2007-08-16]

Since the establishment of the airline, Regional Express has added over twenty SAABs to those inherited from Kendell and Hazelton to expand its fleet. Of these, two are former Hazelton aircraft that served with other operators before being bought by Rex. One aircraft was operated by Kendell Airlines and Rex, then flew in Europe for several years before being re-leased by Rex.

Regional Express rotates all of its aircraft between Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. The delivery of 25 ex-American Eagle Saab 340B "Plus" aircraft (to be leased) over 3 years starting in mid-2007 will enable the expansion of services and the conversion of the Saab 340A's into freighters, and increase the fleet to about 50 units. The 340B "Plus" has a quieter and more comfortable interior, with the usual leather seating that is typical to the Saab 340. As of September 2008 13 of the 25 aircraft have been delivered.

Special logos

When the Regional Express livery was first introduced, the logos of the former operators Kendell and Hazelton were located underneath the leading passenger window to the rear of the main entrance door (one aircraft, VH-EKH, still displays these logos with the motto "Our heart is in the country").

In addition to VH-EKH mentioned above, several aircraft in the Rex fleet display special logos or other visual features:

* VH-EKD has a mural on the LH forward fuselage (Right) promoting the outback City of Broken Hill. This mural was executed by a group known as the Arid Zone Artists in 1998.

* VH-TRX has a caricature of Kay Hull MHR (Right), whose efforts were instrumental in helping Rex to become established, on the LH forward fuselage. The City of Wagga Wagga is within her electorate of Riverina.

* VH-ZLR does not display the Rex reservations telephone number.

* Several aircraft also have decals displaying the SAAB corporate logo on the entry door or the "Our heart is in the country" motto; some have both.

* VH-ZRX has "SAAB 340" written on the door instead of a Saab corporate logo, a relic of its service with Air Nelson.


As of September 2008, 43 aircraft are in the expanding fleet. [ [ CASA] Australian civil register database. Online search conducted 2008-09-06] In July 2008 the company announced that all of its 340As would be converted to freighters. A Saab 340B was withdrawn from service to be used as a source of spare parts and the first of the 340A freighter conversions was sold in July 2008.cite web | title = Rex Announces Sale Of SAAB 340A Freighter To Bridges | publisher = Regional Express | date = 2008-07-10 | url = | accessdate = 2008-08-24 ]

Aircraft orders

Rex has ordered 25 ex American Eagle SAAB 340B "Plus" aircraft, which have extended wingtips (offered as an option on Saab 340B "Plus" aircraft) to increase flight performance and fuel efficiency, plus improved interior soundproofing. The first was originally scheduled to arrive in late 2006, however Rex took delivery of the first on April 30, 2007; it entered service on June 6th. By March 2008, nine had been delivered, bringing the REX fleet to 40. The 340B "Plus" aircraft are fitted with optional Hamilton Standard propellers instead of the Dowty Rotol propellers fitted to the existing fleet.


See also

*Ansett Australia
*Kendell Airlines
*Hazelton Airlines

External links

* [ Rex History]
* [ Picture of VH-ZLF in the USA prior to delivery]
* [ Picture of VH-ZLG in the USA prior to delivery]
* [ Picture of VH-KDB after its refurbishment]

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