10 June 2003: Australia’s low fare airline Virgin Blue and regional carrier Regional Express (Rex) have joined forces to provide regional travellers with a convenient and cost effective method of flying around the country.
The two carriers today signed an agreement, which will streamline travel by allowing passengers to book flights on both airlines through one call to Rex and check their luggage through to their final destination when travelling on connecting Virgin Blue and Rex flights.
Recent surveys highlighted a trend of regional passengers taking advantage of great value fares by flying on Rex to capital centres then continuing their journey on a Virgin Blue flight. This involved having to make separate bookings with each airline, as well as collecting their luggage in between flights.
Passengers flying on Rex from regional centres to Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney will be able to remain in the same terminal and connect smoothly to their Virgin Blue destination or vice versa, without the hassle of handling their own bags in between.
Virgin Blue Chief Executive Brett Godfrey said the agreement means Virgin Blue would spread its wings to more regional centres via Rex’s comprehensive network.
“There are many cities where Virgin Blue would love to fly but can’t land a 737 aircraft so we are excited to be forging a relationship with Rex to benefit those people who want easy access to Virgin Blue destinations and fares throughout the country.”
“Like our codeshare with United Airlines, Virgin Blue’s agreement with Rex has broken the traditional interline mould so it can continue to be a world leader with its efficient and low cost operation, while at the same time providing more options and convenience to Guests.”
He continued, “We are confident the combined efforts of Australia’s two smaller and newest carriers will challenge Qantas, which has had far too much dominance for far too long.”
Rex CEO Michael Jones said the cooperation between the airlines would provide increased competition and choice for travellers across Australia.
“Customers can now make convenient connections between regional and domestic flights and take advantage of the great value fares offered by both Rex and Virgin Blue,” Mr Jones said.
“This is a major step forward for travellers from our 26 regional destinations, particularly where Rex is the only airline, but it also opens up our extensive network and country hospitality to Virgin Blue customers.”
“Australian travellers have welcomed the lower prices Rex and Virgin Blue have brought to Australian skies and this agreement provides a much stronger alternative for connecting passengers.”
The agreement comes into affect from July 21.
Travellers can make bookings to and from regional centres on Rex and connecting Virgin Blue flights by contacting the Rex call centre on 13 17 13.