The first Rex passengers to touch down at Gold Coast Airport today were given a warm welcome – with a water cannon salute, experience and flight vouchers given away, live music in the terminal and a themed cake to mark the occasion.
In time for the busy Easter period, Rex is starting twice daily direct services between the Gold Coast and Melbourne from today and the Gold Coast and Sydney from Thursday. The affordable, full service offering from Rex will boost flights and competition on the airport’s two busiest routes.
The flights represent an additional 500,000 seats through Gold Coast Airport annually and will inject an estimated $208 million into the local economy in the next 12 months.
Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills said Rex was responding to increasing interest in the Gold Coast as Australians started to holiday again.
“Rex’s entry to the Gold Coast market will benefit locals and the growing number of people looking to travel here,” he said.
“After an extremely challenging 12 months for tourism operators on the Gold Coast and in northern New South Wales, domestic flights are increasing significantly at Gold Coast Airport in the lead-up to Easter.
“The expected increase to about 50 return flights a day will see the airport’s capacity approach pre-COVID-19 levels during the holiday period.”
Rex Deputy Chairman the Hon John Sharp AM said there has been strong support for the flights from both Melbourne and Sydney.
“We are delighted passenger demand has already exceeded our expectations,” he said.
“A number of flights are already fully booked as travellers embrace the greater choice and competition we’ve brought to the market because of our reputation of providing safe and reliable services at an affordable price as demonstrated by our launch fares.
“These are as low as $79 from Melbourne and $69 from Sydney and will be lower under the Federal Government TANS program, details of which will be announced on 1 April.”
Destination Gold Coast CEO Patricia O’Callaghan said direct flights from key interstate markets were crucial to the city’s tourism industry as the economy is rebuilt.
“Importantly, these services translate into more visitors for our 4,600 tourism businesses,” she said.
“Destination Gold Coast is providing marketing support for the new routes to remind families and couples from down South to reconnect on the Gold Coast this Easter and throughout winter.
“We must ensure that Gold Coast is the number one holiday destination for Aussies and city-wide partnerships with the City of Gold Coast, Gold Coast Airport and airlines are incredibly valuable.”
The first Rex passengers to touch down on the Gold Coast enjoyed live music by Lauren Bunney from the Youth Music Venture, a traditional water cannon salute and received $50 vouchers for a Gold Coast experience, thanks to Destination Gold Coast. Rex also supplied cupcakes to passengers and a lucky few received flight vouchers.
A themed cake, celebrating the partnership between Rex and Gold Coast Airport, was cut to mark the occasion.
The Gold Coast is the first Queensland destination serviced by Rex Airlines’ 737 jet aircraft as the regional carrier spreads its wings to major city routes across Australia. Each aircraft has 176 seats and both economy and business classes. The service is supported by QAL and Destination Gold Coast.
As flight schedules increase, passengers are remained about COVID-19 management measures and in particular, the Queensland Government’s directive to wear a face mask in and around the terminal.