Rex to fly between Australian capital cities

henrus

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aren't public servants meant to use best fare of the day on any airline ? Obviously ways around this.
Taking the AU gov travel policy as an example, it's just limited to best fare within 1 hour of intended travel:

Rex is unlikely to be selected for two reasons, firstly the times. Using a random date in June it's clear how little impact this is going to have given only two flights per day. For outbound flights the 1 hour is based on prior to the booked time, for inbound flights it's based on 1hr after the booked time.

If anyone wants to fly on Qantas and is leaving Canberra (for an official trip to MEL) then booking the 6:05am, 7:50am, 9:35am, 11:55am, 4:25pm, 5:35pm will meet the AU Gov policy.


Screen Shot 2021-05-18 at 10.14.13 am.png

Also, Rex still doesn't publish the $69 promo fares in the GDS. What this means is that any corporate travelers booking via an agent will see the cheapest rex fares at around $120 and any VA fare will beat them provided it's around the right time. I suspect VA knows this because they've only dropped some flights to $69 with others still around $150-180 when it's only QF flights around.
 

milehighclub

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Interesting that Google thinks that luggage isn't included on those fares. I wonder how it determines that information.
 

dajop

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Also, Rex still doesn't publish the $69 promo fares in the GDS. What this means is that any corporate travelers booking via an agent will see the cheapest rex fares at around $120 and any VA fare will beat them provided it's around the right time. I suspect VA knows this because they've only dropped some flights to $69 with others still around $150-180 when it's only QF flights around.

There may be an opportunity with the 17:45 departure CBR-MEL. Before 2009 I used to fly semi-regularly (monthly) between the cities, but still had to manage my travel budget and I didn't particularly like having to inevitably pay full fare to take the late afternoon QF flight back, so instead used to fly DJ at around the same time as they were always a lot cheaper. For this reason the 17:45 might be an attractive alternative- at least to the private sector - compared the heavy loaded 17:35 on QF or the 55 min later VA flight.
 

henrus

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Interesting that Google thinks that luggage isn't included on those fares. I wonder how it determines that information.

It's actually talking about a lack of overhead bin space. I'd take it with a grain of salt as this OOL-MEL search shows that one JQ flight does have space and the other doesn't. The same with those two VA flights at the bottom.
Screen Shot 2021-05-18 at 11.32.15 am.png
 

kookaburra75

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Great news indeed - Virgin's CBR-MEL fares have dropped from $185 to $69 starting from the 10th of June! ;)
Thank goodness they have managed to remove the "Canberra Tax", where us locals got slugged extra for everything due to our overpaid FIFO workers. With Rex on the CBR-SYD route and now CBR-MEL route, we're getting some downward pressure on fares for a change.

There may be an opportunity with the 17:45 departure CBR-MEL. Before 2009 I used to fly semi-regularly (monthly) between the cities, but still had to manage my travel budget and I didn't particularly like having to inevitably pay full fare to take the late afternoon QF flight back, so instead used to fly DJ at around the same time as they were always a lot cheaper. For this reason the 17:45 might be an attractive alternative- at least to the private sector - compared the heavy loaded 17:35 on QF or the 55 min later VA flight.
I'm the same, and usually fly a first flight out, last flight back - and even 1735 is a bit early to leave Melbourne. However, for non-work related travel, such as shopping trips to Melbourne $69 each way makes it even more worthwhile
 

Melburnian1

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On a quick EF check for Tuesday 18 May 2021,:

ZL's 0700 hours MEL - SYD had 92 in whY, the 1000 surprisingly fewer with 54 and the 1200 'high noon' 74.

Southbound, the 0700 hours conveyed 46 in whY, the 0-930 hours 88 and the 1300 hours (very much off peak) 63.

The one QFd flight I checked at 0700 hours MEL-SYD was a widebody, A332 VH-EBK, but while better loaded than ZL (and way better in yield), it had many empty whY seats. QF's overheads are way higher than Zl's will ever be. Three years ago, even on a Tuesday (usually it and Wed are the quietest weekdays), it'd have been likely that QFd's 0700 would have had 95 per cent of seats occupied (with the vacant ones largely being non shows).

I didn't check J passenger numbers on any of these so in most cases the true number of revenue passengers would be higher.
 

Melburnian1

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Thank goodness they have managed to remove the "Canberra Tax", where us locals got slugged extra for everything due to our overpaid FIFO workers. With Rex on the CBR-SYD route and now CBR-MEL route, we're getting some downward pressure on fares for a change.

That tax hasn't really disappeared, as Rex's cheapest fares on the MEL - SYD route are $39 compared to $69 MEL - CBR. So you pay 76 per cent more. With all the affluent public sector employees and contractors, the airlines know you can "all" afford this hike. Canberra is not a micocosm of Oz.
 

kookaburra75

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That tax hasn't really disappeared, as Rex's cheapest fares on the MEL - SYD route are $39 compared to $69 MEL - CBR. So you pay 76 per cent more. With all the affluent public sector employees and contractors, the airlines know you can "all" afford this hike. Canberra is not a micocosm of Oz.
I agree sadly - although MEL-SYD route has the economies of scale to always be cheaper than servicing our regional city of 350,000 people to other locations. We always look at the cheaper airfares with envy, even your ability to access cheap flights on Jetstar :)
 

frequently

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wonder if Rex should be doing the occasional flight to NZ ? Surely they could do international ops ? Must be money in it, especially in school holidays & busy periods. I had a quick look on google flights for Brisbane to Queenstown on weekends, when most people want to fly(7 nights) return from end of June (school holidays) & nothing under $740 on a weekend, except a few seats late July for $650 after school holidays before busy August & early Sept before school holidays. Take off $250 in taxes & must be reasonable yields. As soon as Rex start flying their B738s to Bris, they could perhaps fly Sat after 12noon when little demand & turn around & come straight back & be back in Bris just after dark. Other option is to Dunedin. Virgin used to fly Bris/Dunedin 3 to 4 times a week depending on time of the year & once a week would not suit everyone, but what else can Dunedin people do ? Fly to CHC, WLG or AKL to get to Australia. Or Gold Coast to Dunedin, if flights starting into Brisbane are to be delayed, with more negotiations with airport. Anyone from Dunedin wanting to go to Australia, wouldn't mind going into Gold Coast nonstop, rather than via another NZ port. Actually take everything but nonstop out of the equation & price jumps (no Jetstar). Of course, many have already booked, but there must be a few routes like this one, even in Christmas school holidays. Presume weekly maintenance can be done anytime of day or night & surely would be many domestic flights Sat after 12noon that were profitable. Always thought Sat pm & Sun am about the quietest times of the week domestically.
 
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Mattg

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I agree sadly - although MEL-SYD route has the economies of scale to always be cheaper than servicing our regional city of 350,000 people to other locations. We always look at the cheaper airfares with envy, even your ability to access cheap flights on Jetstar :)

Worth noting that Rex's launch fares on SYD-MEL were $79. The $69 CBR-MEL fares are actually lower.

The only reason Rex is now doing $39 on SYD-MEL is desperation. That price is below cost.
 

Mattg

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wonder if Rex should be doing the occasional flight to NZ ? Surely they could do international ops ? Must be money in it, especially in school holidays & busy periods.

Does Rex have the appropriate air operator certificates to fly passengers to New Zealand? I think it would be more costly than you realise to get all the necessary approvals to start commercial flights there.

In any case, based on the (very poor) loads we've seen so far on most trans-Tasman flights, I don't think there would be money in it for Rex. Even Virgin won't fly to NZ under the current conditions.

I would imagine Rex would look to fly to PER, DRW or CNS before New Zealand.
 

frequently

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Worth noting that Rex's launch fares on SYD-MEL were $79. The $69 CBR-MEL fares are actually lower.

The only reason Rex is now doing $39 on SYD-MEL is desperation. That price is below cost.
not desperation, but shows everyone what can be done. For $78 return with luggage my wife would be going to other city every week for lunch/shopping etc. if we lived in SYD or MEL.
 

Mattg

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not desperation, but shows everyone what can be done. For $78 return with luggage my wife would be going to other city every week for lunch/shopping etc. if we lived in SYD or MEL.

It's loss-making for the airline as it costs them more $39 each way to operate the seat. It can be done but it's not sustainable.
 

henrus

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wonder if Rex should be doing the occasional flight to NZ ? Surely they could do international ops ?
No reason why they can't and I'd love for them to do so (bringing down prices). Thanks to decent bilateral agreements, Rex's AOC can reasonably easily be amended to allow for NZ flights so if they really wanted to they could quite easily operate flights to NZ (or even domestic NZ operations). It's the initial setup that would be quite costly and very involved.

Things that come to mind; amending the AOC, building international systems into their existing booking system (for processing with the Advance Passenger Processing [APP]), biosecurity requirements (eg. regular aircraft spraying), ground handling in NZ (easier in AKL, WLG, CHC and ZQN thanks to PlaneBiz) and agreements with NZ airports.

If they could sign some amazing deals with NZ airports/ground handling etc then the operating cost of these flights ironically wouldn't be that much more than many of their domestic services, noting that running an almost empty 737 2.5hrs across the tasman or 2.5hrs domestically isn't that different.

Virgin used to fly Bris/Dunedin 3 to 4 times a week depending on time of the year & once a week would not suit everyone, but what else can Dunedin people do ?
Those VA flights were shocking. During holidays the load factors were great but outside they were quite shocking. I was always surprised they didn't make the route seasonal or cut it complelty when the NZ codeshare agreement ended. If there was money to be made then you can bet that Air NZ would be down there but sadly that's not the case. The Air NZ GM of routes was asked about this a month ago and responded saying it was hard for them to serve Dunedin as they had no crews or aircraft based down there.
 

dajop

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I would imagine Rex would look to fly to PER, DRW or CNS before New Zealand.

There's probably a broad array of domestic routes that could be worked on before looking at NZ, without even considering DRW/PER. Destinations like MCY, HTI, CNS, TSV, BNK, NTL etc For example I'm struggling to see how something like DUD-OOL would more profitable than say NTL-CNS ...
 

frequently

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There's probably a broad array of domestic routes that could be worked on before looking at NZ, without even considering DRW/PER. Destinations like MCY, HTI, CNS, TSV, BNK, NTL etc For example I'm struggling to see how something like DUD-OOL would more profitable than say NTL-CNS ...
DUD anywhere seasonally or even charters. When you go from 3 or 4 nonstop flights a week to Brisbane to none, well surely you could fill one a week with DUD locals & some Australians going the other way. The biggest issue might be availability of aircraft until Rex get more.
 
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henrus

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Qantas has dropped its lowest CBR-MEL fares from $218 to $99 from 10 June.

What this now means is that agents will see the following starting prices:

Screen Shot 2021-05-18 at 3.54.16 pm.png

This now means that Rex has the most expensive starting price of the three carriers when booking via an agent (remembering most companies and the gov book via an agent).
 

Berlin

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I just don't see why Rex would be successful in the long term while so many airlines haven't been. Tiger is dust and tried from the cheap end and Virgin is back to half its former self, even after trying so hard and for so long to woo lucrative corporate clients with a presumed equal to Qantas product. I personally never believed the latter and my few experiences on them were proof for that (childish and unprofessional crew, mediocre catering, having to use the Bogan terminal in Sydney and so on...) but at least for a while, they seemed to be quite successful in their efforts.

So why Rex? The brand is mostly known to country folks (and by quite many of them loathed rather than loved, I may add) who won't be the ones saving the airline on the main city routes. And both Qantas and Virgin will just start dumping cheaper fares on those routes (they're doing it already, actually) which might be sustainable for them (Qantas, at least) but will not help Rex. Top this off with not being member fo any loyalty program, it really leaves the cheap ticket crowd- and they already got Jetstar!

Maybe I am too pessimistic but I can't help but getting the feeling that the whole idea is doomed from the start. Rex has the word "regional" in its name and probably should stick to it rather than following grand dreams that will fail, sooner or later. I might be wrong of course, who knows.
 

henrus

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having to use the Bogan terminal in Sydney
Have seen a couple of references about T2 on AFF this week. Budget terminal... Bogan terminal, what next?

Flying VA out of T2 pre covid was probably the most pleasant domestic airport experience pre covid thanks to the premium lounge entry and having to never step foot in the terminal until it came to boarding.
 

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