The Gold Coast will be the first Queensland destination serviced by Rex Airlines’ Boeing 737-800 NG jet aircraft as the regional carrier spreads its wings to major city routes across Australia.
In time for the busy Easter period, Rex is launching direct services between the Gold Coast and Melbourne from 29 March and the Gold Coast and Sydney from 1 April.
Rex will be launching with two return services per day on each route in time for the Easter peak travel period. Launch fares will be available for $79 between the Gold Coast and Melbourne and $69 between the Gold Coast and Sydney.
Queensland Airports Limited Chief Executive Officer Chris Mills said it was pleasing Rex had chosen the Gold Coast as one of the first destinations in its domestic expansion, boosting flights in and out of the airport.
“This is a vote of confidence in the Gold Coast. People want to travel again, and the Gold Coast is at the top of their wish list. Clearly Rex sees the opportunity this presents,” he said.
“These new services give customers even more choice on the Gold Coast’s two busiest routes.”
Mr Mills said Rex was a long-standing partner of Queensland Airports Limited (QAL), which also owned Townsville, Mount Isa and Longreach airports, and had been operating out of these northern ports for many years.
“Just like QAL, Rex has a long history of supporting regional communities around Australia and we are keen to work with the airline as it expands to major city routes,” he said.
Rex’s Deputy Chair, the Hon John Sharp AM, said: “Rex is the largest regional operator in Queensland with an expansive network from Brisbane all the way to Bamaga and it was easy for us to come to an understanding with QAL, which also has deep roots in regional Queensland.”
“We are particularly impressed with how proactive and forward thinking QAL has been and it was one of the first parties that actively sought us out once our domestic plans were announced. We believe that our shared heritage and similar DNA will bode well for a successful collaboration in the years ahead,” he said.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate welcomed news of another airline connecting the Gold Coast with key tourism markets.
“This is fantastic news at a time when our city is recovering from the biggest economic challenge in its history,” he said.
“Giving residents and interstate travellers greater choice and flexibility is key, so I welcome Rex’s announcement today.’’
Destination Gold Coast CEO Patricia O’Callaghan said: “Destination Gold Coast is proud to partner with Rex Airlines, Gold Coast Airport and the City of Gold Coast to boost the recovery of our region through increased connectivity.”
“The commencement of services from key interstate visitor markets of Sydney and Melbourne will be critical,” she said.
“The warmth of our Gold Coast winter weather, our hinterland rainforest, beaches, theme parks and quality dining are all major reasons for people down South to head North and our Gold Coast operators are waiting to welcome them with open arms.
“Simply put, the Gold Coast is open for business and we are making it easier for Aussies to holiday in Australia’s favourite playground.”
Rex will operate 737 jet aircraft on the routes, which have 176 seats and both economy and business classes, offering a full service with meals and checked in baggage allowance.
The route is supported by QAL and Destination Gold Coast.