Regional Express Pty Ltd (also known as Rex) is an airline based in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia. It operates scheduled regional services. It is Australia’s largest regional airline outside the Qantas group of companies and serves New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, North Queensland and Tasmania. Its entire fleet consists of Swedish built Saab 340 turboprop aircraft seating 33, 34 or 36 passengers.
The airline was established in 2002 when the Australiawide Airlines consortium (set up by former Ansett Australia employees) acquired Hazelton Airlines and Kendell Airlines, merged the two companies and started operations in August 2002 as Rex. In 2005, Australiawide Airlines was renamed Regional Express Holdings and partially floated on the Australian Securities Exchange.
On 30 November 2005, Rex announced the acquisition of the Dubbo-based Air Link, another regional airline.
In October 2007, Rex expanded into Queensland when it commenced operations between Brisbane and Maryborough.
This exacerbated an existing problem within the company of not having enough pilots to crew its flights (due to the expansion of larger airlines, especially Jetstar Airways and Virgin Blue), and Rex suspended operations out of Brisbane (and from Sydney to Cooma, New South Wales during the summer “low season” for this route to the NSW ski fields) in November 2007. To provide a medium-term solution to the pilot shortage, Rex announced that it was establishing a cadet-pilot flight-training programme. At the same time, Rex announced the impending retirement of Managing director Geoff Breust.