Australia’s Regional Express is looking to bring its fleet of Boeing 737-800s to 10 examples by the end of the year, as it continues to grow its mainline network. 

The announcement comes as Rex inked a letter of intent for two 737s, which will be delivered by August, taking its jet fleet to eight aircraft. 

Rex 737-800

Source: Rex

The first 737-800 to bear the Rex livery

The carrier also disclosed its intentions to lease another two 737s by the end of the year, and has invited expressions of interest from lessors for the two jets. 

The 737s are currently operating mainline domestic routes from Melbourne to Sydney, Gold Coast, Adelaide, and Canberra, as well as from Sydney to Gold Coast. Rex has hinted that the new aircraft will be put on new routes to “other capital cities, large regional centres and popular leisure destinations”. 

The carrier launched jet operations in March, half a year after it secured financing and regulatory approvals to do so. Its foray into mainline domestic operations has sparked a price war on the highly-competitive Sydney-Melbourne route, and has led to long-standing war of words between the airline and arch-rival Qantas. 

Rex in June also flagged a pre-tax loss for the year ending 30 June, as a resurgence in coronavirus cases in the parts of the country forced a significant number of flight cancellations. It represented a revision from a May forecast of a break-even scenario for the full-year.