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Cheap Rex flights between Canberra and Sydney begin

The first Rex flight from Sydney to Canberra touched down at Canberra Airport just before 8am today, Monday 19 April – one of seven return flights each weekday.

Rex, Australia’s largest independent regional and domestic airline, announced last month that it would begin flights on the route with $99 fares. At the time, the Canberra to Sydney route was serviced only by Qantas, which charged between $193 and $657 one way.

Rex’s deputy chairman, the Hon. John Sharp AM, said that the new Saab 340 service heralded the return of competition on the route and the introduction of more affordable, less than a third of the average price of a Qantas ticket for the same flight.

“Australia needs Rex if it is to have competitive airline services of a high quality,” Mr Sharp said.

“Qantas’s behaviour has cost the ACT economy enormously. … Our competitive pricing will put a stop to Qantas’s gouging of passengers with very high prices.”

According to the public policy evaluation and consultancy firm, Urbis, the Rex flights will directly boost the national capital’s economy by nearly $200 million each year, and create 300 new jobs.

(Urbis worked on Canberra Airport’s 2020 Master Plan analysing the economic benefits of the Airport to the region over the next 20 years.)

The flights represent an extra 160,000 seats a year, and are expected to grow the total market by stimulating new leisure and tourism traffic and sparking a surge in travellers visiting friends and families.

“This study demonstrates how incredibly valuable a competitive airline offering is to a local economy and a community like the ACT and surrounding areas, Mr Sharp said.

He thanked the ACT Government and Canberra Airport for helping to achieve such a great outcome.

Rex was the only domestic airline that fully refunded passengers who needed to cancel a flight because of COVID, Mr Sharp said.

Rex’s fleet of 60 Saab 340 and four Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft fly to 62 destinations throughout all states in Australia. In addition to the airline Rex, the Rex Group comprises wholly owned subsidiaries Pel-Air Aviation (air freight, aeromedical, and charter operator) and two pilot academies in Wagga Wagga and Ballarat.

Rex deputy chairman, the Hon. John Sharp AM (left) celebrates the arrival of the airline’s first flight from Sydney at Canberra Airport with ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Canberra Airport managing director Stephen Byron at a ceremonial cake cutting this morning. Image supplied.

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