Australia’s Regional Express (Rex) says that it has received preliminary clearance from Australian regulators for its acquisition of National Jet Express.

The clearance sets the stage for the Australian operator to obtain the Cobham Aviation Services Australia unit and enter the lucrative fly-in, fly-out market that supports Australia’s resources sector.

Cobham old E190

A Cobham E190

Rex cites a 26 July letter from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC): “The ACCC has considered the information provided by Rex and Cobham as well as other information it has before it. Based on that information, the ACCC does not intend to conduct a public review of the proposed acquisition pursuant to section 50 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2020.”

The case will now go before the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). Rex says that the outcome of the FIRB review is expected in the coming months.

Rex announced its plan to acquire NJE in mid-July for about A$48 million ($33.2 million).

National Jet Express provides fly-in, fly-out services in the south and west of the country, and also operates domestic freight flights out of Sydney to various cities.

The carrier uses a fleet of eight De Havilland Dash 8-400 turboprops and six Embraer 190 regional jets. Cobham phased out its last BAE Systems Avro RJ aircraft in early June.