Rex to fly between Australian capital cities

jase05

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Anecdotal I know, but many people I talk to still think of Rex as the little country airline that flies propeller planes to places like Dubbo or Burnie.

I think Rex Jet still needs to work out exactly who their customer is and get their name out there. They’re trying to be Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar all at once, but country hospitality alone isn’t going to fill those planes in a market well covered by the other three. The current covid situation also wouldn’t be helping them as the least established player.

I really want Rex to succeed. I agree with the poster above, their service is fantastic. I just hope the management aren’t taking the staff for a ride on some unsustainable pet project. Despite all of John Sharp’s talk about growth, I’m not sure their experiment is going swimmingly.
For me a decent lounge and FF program would be the minimum requirement to switch some of my $ over
 

Mattg

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I really want Rex to succeed. I agree with the poster above, their service is fantastic. I just hope the management aren’t taking the staff for a ride on some unsustainable pet project. Despite all of John Sharp’s talk about growth, I’m not sure their experiment is going swimmingly.

The on-board service is indeed good and the staff do a good job, but I fear you may be correct on this.

Remember when John Sharp was promising 9 daily flights each way between SYD & MEL? They're now down to one flight per day, and they can barely get 40 passengers on many of these.

In the Australian market, if they're trying to be a full-service airline as they claim, it beggars belief that they still don't have a loyalty program.
 

Harrison_133

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In the Australian market, if they're trying to be a full-service airline as they claim, it beggars belief that they still don't have a loyalty program.
Agreed. It’s like they’re trying to take Tiger’s piece of the pie, but think the way to that is through Qantas & Virgin’s portion. If they want Tiger’s price conscious customers, they should focus on competing with Jetstar, rather than trying to be full-service, otherwise they won’t get enough repeat business from those of us who value FF programs and decent lounges.

I’m sure Jetstar will be happy to snap up those customers as long as Rex remain asleep at the wheel, and I wouldn’t discount Virgin’s ability to compete in the lower end of the market with their lite fares.
 

henrus

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Does Qantas Charge for seat selection??
Domestically no (however seat selection is not possible for dash 8 flights until check in opens)

Internationally they only charge on sale fares and thanks to a recent change it's only sale fares where you're not a Qantas frequent flyer (even bronze status works to get free seat selection).
 

Fortunatecrow

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I flew MEL to ADL yesterday with Rex, my first flight anywhere since July. The plane would not have been a quarter full. Staff at the gate said that planes to & from QLD were busy but not much else.

Rex will continue to be my first choice, even though I am QFF lifetime gold and so have lounge access. Their presence adds competition and I am sure it keeps VA prices lower, staff are friendlier, and ex-MEL, terminal 4 parking is way better than terminal 1/2 parking.
Return flight yesterday – a few more passengers but still would not have been one-third full
 

Harrison_133

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Was looking at booking some MEL-CBR flights. Checked Rex because VA prices were over $200. ZL only had MEL-CBR direct available on Monday, Friday & Sunday next week. Other days only options were via Sydney. Makes sense to cut back if the demand isn’t there, but it doesn’t bode well if they can’t support at least 1 flight a day. Maybe they could fill a Saab instead.
 

jase05

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Was looking at booking some MEL-CBR flights. Checked Rex because VA prices were over $200. ZL only had MEL-CBR direct available on Monday, Friday & Sunday next week. Other days only options were via Sydney. Makes sense to cut back if the demand isn’t there, but it doesn’t bode well if they can’t support at least 1 flight a day. Maybe they could fill a Saab instead.
VA quite often have J fares for $249 on that route
 
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Harrison_133

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VA quite often have J fares for $249 on that route
Yes, I’m aware. I was after some last minute flights for next week. VA were $209 in Economy. Thought I could snag one of Rex’s cheap tickets instead, but there were no direct flights on the day I need to travel.
 

ANstar

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If you're a full service airline you don't charge for seat selection or make people use cash for alcoholic drinks.
Don't QF charge for booze? And seat selection for exits and preferred seats?

Come to think of it BA do as well... I think the definition of full service airline needs a rethink.
 

AIRwin

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Rex has extended the current sale another 2 weeks to 31 January 2022 (matched by QF)...
This time Rex has extended the current sale another 2 months to 31 March for travel until 30 June...
 

Melburnian1

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Tuesday is typically the quietest weekday. On 1 February 2022, ZL42 (1000 hours MEL - SYD) had all eight J class seats occupied but only 64 whY seats were taken, so total seat occupancy was well under half.

I am not on Rex's Board but notwithstanding contracts that may be difficult to wriggle from without a pecuniary penalty, if I was I'd be asking some hard questions as to whether ZL ought abandon its Boeing 738 dream and stick to operating the SAAB340Bs on capital city to rural routes along with its charter, special function (i.e. emergency services) and regulated routes work.

However, the Board would say 'it's easy to be an armchair expert' but for the life of me, apart from egos, I can't understand why REX wanted to enter the capital city to capital/large city networks. Sure, it can 'feed' passengers between its SAABs and the 738s but that doesn't fill, or turn a net profit, on the c.170 seats available on the larger aircraft.
 

Harrison_133

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This time Rex has extended the current sale another 2 months to 31 March for travel until 30 June...
Looks like they’ve raised the prices too. MEL-OOL/BNE now at $99 for example. SYD-BNE/OOL/MEL now $79. Interestingly, VA still have MEL-OOL at Rex’s previous price of $65 and SYD-OOL $55, while the MEL-BNE/SYD routes have gone up in price to match Rex.

If VA continue to undercut Rex, I can’t help but think the price conscious leisure passengers will be pushed towards VA when they come up ahead of Rex on price comparison sites.

Edit: Looks like VA have raised the OOL prices too. So the price matching continues.
 
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dajop

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However, the Board would say 'it's easy to be an armchair expert' but for the life of me, apart from egos, I can't understand why REX wanted to enter the capital city to capital/large city networks.

I can actually understand it a little - with access to lower cost fleet and relatively low overheads. What is difficult to understand and I think several others (as well as myself) have already made this point is why they think they can compete without any form of loyalty program.
 

Mattg

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I can actually understand it a little - with access to lower cost fleet and relatively low overheads. What is difficult to understand and I think several others (as well as myself) have already made this point is why they think they can compete without any form of loyalty program.

I believe they are actively working on developing a loyalty program now, but I don't have any more information yet about when it will launch or how it will work.

This really should have been a priority from day one.
 

AIRwin

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This time Rex has extended the current sale another 2 months to 31 March for travel until 30 June...
This has also prompted QF to extend their sale for the same travel period:

Before
Screenshot_20220131-221043~2.png

After
Screenshot_20220201-165204-579.png
 

henrus

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I believe they are actively working on developing a loyalty program now, but I don't have any more information yet about when it will launch or how it will work.
Probably a topic for a new thread but here's what I'd like it to look like before I'm seriously interested.

Regarding earning and burning points. I think they should be based on miles with different fare types earning different miles (eg. cheapest 0.25 points per mile up to 2 points per mile for business) but there needs to be a multiplier for regional routes as some of the regional flights are short but expensive! For burning points I really think two different award charts are justified, one for domestic and one for regional with the regional more expensive - if they go down the path of a variable award chart it'll be a real shame as that provides the traveller with no goal to redeem points given the goal posts constantly change. Bringing in some credit card partners would also go along way to boosting interest in the program/airline.

Regarding status, at the very least a silver and gold tier. To match their competitors benefits would need to include
- priority phone support for status holders
- bonus points for status holders
- free seating on all fares for status holders (upfront/extra legroom seats for higher tier)
- using points for upgrades or maybe some free upgrade vouchers per year for higher tier
- priority check-in/boarding/security
- extra checked baggage (perhaps a fixed kg extra on regional?)
- lounge access (some free passes for lower tier and included for higher tiers)
- fly ahead for free on higher tiers (I think this is already offered to all for ~$33)

Am I being unreasonable or is that a justifiable list?

Finally I think they have to be very limited if they do offer status matches, at the very least people should fly a couple of flights with them first before getting any major benefits.
 

Harrison_133

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I wonder if we’d see some refreshed lounges alongside a new frequent flyer program. The existing lounges - while adequate for their current role - would struggle against the QF & VA lounge offerings. If they’re serious about attracting those of us concerned about status, an update would be a wise, but also costly investment.

I recall there was an article somewhere last year about a new Sydney lounge being built in T2 - in the pier with Gates 49-59, if I remember correctly. I wonder if this is still going ahead?

I guess Rex need to consider how many people a FFP might pull away from QF & VA when they’re designing it. A basic FFP would suffice initially, or as long as the 737 network remains limited. Chasing everyone with an elaborate program & lounge offering would be an over ambitious and expensive exercise if Rex didn’t have the jet network to match it. I hope they don’t follow the Borghetti era VA in trying to be everything to everyone.
 

AIRwin

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