Rex to fly between Australian capital cities

mad_atta

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Sunday afternoon and evening flights are often very busy between Sydney and Melbourne. Particularly if there's a sudden uptick in leisure travellers (due to pent-up demand) while business travel demand is perhaps still a bit soft due to businesses being a bit more cautious, we might see some fairly odd patterns of busy/non-busy times... especially with the airlines ramping up capacity pretty quickly.

Looking at flights around this coming weekend, I was surprised to see how much VA had increased its schedule on the SYD-MEL route, with even some quarter past the hour flights (5.15pm from Melbourne; 7.15pm from Sydney) in addition to the half-hourly schedule.

I wonder if we're heading for a bit of a bloodbath on that route? Surely VA and QF will be pretty keen to see Rex off. I'm loving the 'Rex effect' on biz fares on VA though!
 

Melburnian1

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Sunday afternoon and evening flights are often very busy between Sydney and Melbourne. Particularly if there's a sudden uptick in leisure travellers (due to pent-up demand) while business travel demand is perhaps still a bit soft due to businesses being a bit more cautious, we might see some fairly odd patterns of busy/non-busy times... especially with the airlines ramping up capacity pretty quickly.

Looking at flights around this coming weekend, I was surprised to see how much VA had increased its schedule on the SYD-MEL route, with even some quarter past the hour flights (5.15pm from Melbourne; 7.15pm from Sydney) in addition to the half-hourly schedule.

I wonder if we're heading for a bit of a bloodbath on that route? Surely VA and QF will be pretty keen to see Rex off. I'm loving the 'Rex effect' on biz fares on VA though!

There may be some 'pent-up demand' but there are also many reluctant to travel by any means interstate out of fear that Andrews, Palaszczuk, McGowan, Marshall or Gutwein will suddenly shut a state border or impose quarantine.

No wonder the airline frequencies seem to be down significantly compared with a couple of years ago. The BITRE stats will confirm this in time I reckon.
 

mad_atta

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There may be some 'pent-up demand' but there are also many reluctant to travel by any means interstate out of fear that Andrews, Palaszczuk, McGowan, Marshall or Gutwein will suddenly shut a state border or impose quarantine.
That's true, these days when you book an interstate flight it's definitely with a bit of anxiety around last minute changes - will you be able to go, will you be able to get back. I think it's going to take pretty widespread vaccination to properly get us past that point.

But despite that, I've noticed a huge uptick in interstate travel from my friends, colleagues etc - I get the sense that a lot of people who have been sitting tight until now are finally deciding it's time to try travelling again.

The next 6 months will be weird, no question. But I think we'll be surprised by how quickly things really are back very close to where they were. Interesting that AirNZ said back in March that they're at 90% of pre-pandemic levels for domestic business travel in NZ, and the economic indicators in Australia and around the world are all pointing to a pretty robust recovery. Barring new Covid variants overcoming the vaccine effect, it does look like things are starting to get better quite quickly.
 

jakeseven7

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That's true, these days when you book an interstate flight it's definitely with a bit of anxiety around last minute changes - will you be able to go, will you be able to get back. I think it's going to take pretty widespread vaccination to properly get us past that point.

But despite that, I've noticed a huge uptick in interstate travel from my friends, colleagues etc - I get the sense that a lot of people who have been sitting tight until now are finally deciding it's time to try travelling again.

The next 6 months will be weird, no question. But I think we'll be surprised by how quickly things really are back very close to where they were. Interesting that AirNZ said back in March that they're at 90% of pre-pandemic levels for domestic business travel in NZ, and the economic indicators in Australia and around the world are all pointing to a pretty robust recovery. Barring new Covid variants overcoming the vaccine effect, it does look like things are starting to get better quite quickly.

From our QF contact, they are busily warming up more airframes - and you can see them busy at Sydney as well which is great to see.

I wonder how many A330's they are waking up.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but QFlink may well be 100% back in the air by now.
 

HS-TQE

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They'll be perfect for rex because they've already got orange head rests so it'll make the rex fleet seem less like flying Virgin although with a lack of business seat and extra leg room (economy x seats) they'll likely have to do some reconfiguring first and perhaps a new rex 737 business seat? All of this can't be good for band consistency.

View attachment 244770
Considering reports that ZL's OOL flights were doing well loadwise - no surprise considering it's during the school holiday period (no idea about yields however), one has the wonder whether ZL's 'business plan' for the 737s is going to change again on the fly (yet again) to being a leisuire orientated carrier into the larger tourist towns (e.g CNS, PPP, MCY, OOL etc) when you compare those loads to the disasters that is the SYD-MEL and ADL capital city routes.

The TT 738s would also be suited for the leisure routes, REX probably doesn't need to change the TT headrest colours either if they're not willing to spend the CapEx for reconfiguration.
 

Melburnian1

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Considering reports that ZL's OOL flights were doing well loadwise - no surprise considering it's during the school holiday period (no idea about yields however), one has the wonder whether ZL's 'business plan' for the 737s is going to change again on the fly (yet again) to being a leisuire orientated carrier into the larger tourist towns (e.g CNS, PPP, MCY, OOL etc) when you compare those loads to the disasters that is the SYD-MEL and ADL capital city routes.

The TT 738s would also be suited for the leisure routes, REX probably doesn't need to change the TT headrest colours either if they're not willing to spend the CapEx for reconfiguration.

Fair point, but some of the so-called 'leisure routes' such as CNS/PPP can be seasonal. Few southerners in their right minds want to visit Cairns during months like February when it's super humid and probably very wet.

What would ZL do with its B738s during such months?

If it only flies 'some of the time' on various routes, public and travel trade awareness of it may further sink. My guess is that today, many who book direct (rather than through Flt Cntr/Webjet etc) on a route like SYD-MEL know aboout QFd and most know of VAd 2.0, but not as many are aware of ZL.
 

Saab34

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Perhaps they need to stay away from BNE for the moment. Tiger was never really that big there was a couple daily from Melbourne and Sydney.

Tiger always did well transcon. Perhaps an opportunity for daylight flights not red eye.
 

Must...Fly!

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Perhaps they need to stay away from BNE for the moment. Tiger was never really that big there was a couple daily from Melbourne and Sydney.

Tiger always did well transcon. Perhaps an opportunity for daylight flights not red eye.
Perth is a bit of a risk, but they may as well try some back of the clock flying and see how it goes. The aircraft are otherwise sitting on the ground.

I still can't see much hope for Rex. Possibly their biggest mistake (other than the obvious of getting 737s in the first place) was committing to a business class.
 

henrus

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The TT 738s would also be suited for the leisure routes, REX probably doesn't need to change the TT headrest colours either if they're not willing to spend the CapEx for reconfiguration.
They'll have to do some kind of reconfiguration otherwise they'll have a very messy fleet.

They've currently got two types of 737's, one with 2 rows of business and 29 rows of economy then another with 2 rows of business and 30 rows of economy. It'd be a mess to add a new type with just 30 rows of economy. I'd say it'd be a PR disaster if they had that and happened to substitute an aircraft downgrading people in the process, the media is already attacking rex enough.
 

Melburnian1

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Perhaps they need to stay away from BNE for the moment. Tiger was never really that big there was a couple daily from Melbourne and Sydney.

Tiger always did well transcon. Perhaps an opportunity for daylight flights not red eye.

Agree that many would want to save $$ flying SYD or MEL to PER. The latter also has a large number of so-called '10 pound migrants' who while in many cases have 'made it good' in Oz, perhaps still also want to travel at the lowest possible cost.

For a ghost booking on We 28 April, returning on Th 6 May - not the most expensive weekdays typically to fly - the cheapest QFd return fare was $794 while JQd was $504. For those prices one can either 'normally' fly to many places in southeast and often northeast Asia ((well under $794) or almost do so ($504), with international fares including the Oz departure tax and higher airport fees/charges.
 

Melburnian1

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Most flights are full which is good. Expect MEL-SYD-MEL. Terrible numbers this arvo. Single digits both ways.

Virgin near full in fact more bums on seats than QF

You may mean 'Except' not 'Expect'(?) if you were referring to the 'terrible numbers this arvo?'
 
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Mattg

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Most flights are full which is good. Expect MEL-SYD-MEL. Terrible numbers this arvo. Single digits both ways.

Virgin near full in fact more bums on seats than QF

Just had a look at some of the seat maps for this evening's flights. Qantas and Virgin aren't exactly full on MEL-SYD vv. either, but those Rex numbers are dire! They must be losing thousands of dollars per flight.
 

Saab34

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It’s no trade secret that these Sydney flights are beyond a disaster I just don’t know if/when that will change.

With a couple people per flight so you could say basically zero revenue, they must be losing what 10 grand per flight? Times days and months that’s a lot of cash.

Bit nervous about these SYD-CBR next week.
 
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henrus

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It’s no trade secret that these Sydney flights are beyond a disaster I just don’t know if/when that will change.
The big question is how long they decided to stick with it.

Across all the carriers SYD-MEL hasn't rebounded but flights to CNS/OOL have. It'd make more sense in the short term to put on more services to these destinations however that was never their long term goal and they seem rather stubborn about it.

In my opinion, the sooner they launch a FF program the better. I think they'd be more able to win people over if they offered flights during the week on trunk routes and then flew to more leisure destinations on the weekends CNS, HBA, OOL etc with the ability to easily redeem on these flights. Bookings across the Tasman especially into Auckland and Queenstown have been quite strong, this is something they could quite easily pick up on (given VA doesn't seem interested) with Friday evening flights over and Sunday evening flights back.
 

serfty

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Hasn't AFF discussed Expert Flyer a few times in its own little section and members concluded that it routinely underestimates the number of booked passengers
I would suggest to be clear, specifically counting allocated seats before a flight is not generally a good way of estimating the number of booked passengers.

Your post IMHO, with its generalisation unfairly denigrates Expert Flyer.

A better way is using the fare bucket availability information provided by experts flyer.

For more on that, see here:

 
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henrus

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I would suggest to be clear, specifically counting allocated seats before a flight is not generally a good way of estimating the number of booked passengers.
However, looking at it after the flight has departed gives quite a clear picture:

This is this evenings SYD-MEL flights around 6:30pm to 7pm:
ZL153 @ 6:30pm
20 in Economy
12% full
QF483 @ 6:30pm
72 in Economy
46% full
QF487 @ 7:00pm
95 in Economy
60% full
VA882 @ 7:00pm
128 in Economy
79% full
Screen Shot 2021-04-13 at 8.42.46 pm.png Screen Shot 2021-04-13 at 8.43.24 pm.png Screen Shot 2021-04-13 at 8.44.07 pm.png Screen Shot 2021-04-13 at 8.44.35 pm.png

Rex also had a 5:30pm flight with 45 in Economy (28% full) and a 7:30pm flight with just 10 in Economy (6% full).

Also, note with all of the Rex percentages I've done, I've given them the benefit of the doubt with 156 seats onboard (as some aircraft only have 29 rows) however most have 30 rows or 162 seats in Economy.
 

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