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REX to transition to ATRs, start domestic jet ops

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REX to transition to ATRs, start domestic jet ops

Old 24th Mar 2021, 08:59
  #861 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Originally Posted by TBM-Legend View Post
I want whatever John Sharp is smoking, must be a hell of a hallucinogenic.......

Regional Express’ ambition to challenge Virgin and Qantas in the domestic market fizzled on Tuesday when just 21 passengers travelled on its midday flight from Sydney to Melbourne and a 2:30 pm flight on the same route had only 14, according to an industry source

The low load factors are consistent with rumours heard by Centre for Asia-Pacific Aviation chairman emeritus Peter Harbison, who said the up-until-now rural carrier must “pull a rabbit out of the hat” to make its ambitious entrance to the lucrative capital city market succeed for a prolonged period.

The low passenger numbers – which Rex did not dispute – raise critical questions about the continued viability of the carrier’s push into the “golden triangle” air travel corridor up and down the east coast earlier this month.

Deputy chairman John Sharp claimed load factors on Sydney-Melbourne flights were better than expected and sustainable for the airline. He accused rivals of embedding staff on these trips to identify the number of passengers.


“We have noted many Qantas employees that are regular passengers on our flights. They are there to present the worst case picture and they wouldn’t be telling anyone about our flights that are full,” he said.

Qantas declined to comment.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 09:21
  #862 (permalink)  
 
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Virgin’s 6pm carried more pax than Rex carried for the entire day.

Jump onto Rex. Seat Maps this Friday are bare empty. Virgin is at capacity and oversold this Friday.
Jetstar seat maps are full (A321)

Do people even know they exist?

Last edited by wheels_down; 24th Mar 2021 at 09:38.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 10:18
  #863 (permalink)  
 
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He accused rivals of embedding staff on these trips to identify the number of passengers.

“We have noted many Qantas employees that are regular passengers on our flights. They are there to present the worst case picture and they wouldn’t be telling anyone about our flights that are full,” he said.
Sounds like Rex should be grateful for those Qantas employees buying seats. To me it would seem easier and cheaper to just stand at the gate and count passengers getting on and off the aircraft.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 11:23
  #864 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Originally Posted by MELKBQF
From April, Rex will also start new services including between Sydney and NSW destinations Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie.
Aren’t those QantasLink routes?

I notice Rex are undercutting QantasLink too.

Shouldn’t QantasLink be taking them to the ACCC for predatory behaviour?
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 11:32
  #865 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Looks like a race to the bottom. You can't sell $10 tickets for $9 and expect to stay in business as VA Mk 1 found out...
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 12:18
  #866 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2016
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Originally Posted by dr dre View Post
Deputy chairman John Sharp ... accused rivals of embedding staff on these trips to identify the number of passengers.

“We have noted many Qantas employees that are regular passengers on our flights. They are there to present the worst case picture and they wouldn’t be telling anyone about our flights that are full,” he said.
JC, but this bloke is dumb as a bag of hammers. Neither Qantas nor Virgin would be putting money into Rex's coffers and buying a seat on a flight to determine the pax load. You just send one of your staff down to the Rex gate ahead of boarding time and count pax once they have dutifully lined up to board. Couldn't be simpler.

Originally Posted by chimbu warrior View Post
Sounds like Rex should be grateful for those Qantas employees buying seats. To me it would seem easier and cheaper to just stand at the gate and count passengers getting on and off the aircraft.
​​​​​​​Sorry, missed this when I originally posted. Yes, spot on.

Last edited by MickG0105; 24th Mar 2021 at 12:22. Reason: Noticed chimbu warrior's comments
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 12:32
  #867 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2016
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Originally Posted by wheels_down View Post
Virgin’s 6pm carried more pax than Rex carried for the entire day.

Jump onto Rex. Seat Maps this Friday are bare empty. Virgin is at capacity and oversold this Friday.
Jetstar seat maps are full (A321)

Do people even know they exist?
Yep, take a look at the seat allocation map for ZL153 Sydney to Melbourne this Friday. The 06:30pm - 08:05pm flight has three, count 'em, three seats showing as unavailable - one J class and two down the back.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 13:07
  #868 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
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Originally Posted by MickG0105 View Post
JC, but this bloke is dumb as a bag of hammers. Neither Qantas nor Virgin would be putting money into Rex's coffers and buying a seat on a flight to determine the pax load. You just send one of your staff down to the Rex gate ahead of boarding time and count pax once they have dutifully lined up to board. Couldn't be simpler.

Sorry, missed this when I originally posted. Yes, spot on.
All airlines do it at some stage - put an employee near the boarding gate with a hand counter and get some passenger data. But putting QF employees onto a REX flight would be to check out service level standards, food and entertainment quality, things like that. Always good to know what your competitor is up to. It’s not a new tactic.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 13:16
  #869 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2016
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Originally Posted by Epicurus View Post
But putting QF employees onto a REX flight would be to check out service level standards, food and entertainment quality, things like that.
Yes, but that would be a once off, or QF/VA could just watch any of the numerous YouTubers' postings on their experiences on Rex flights. Sharpie's contention that rivals are 'embedding' staff on multiple flights is just risible nonsense.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 18:00
  #870 (permalink)  
 
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S

Sharp should be thankful QF staff are actually bumping up his low seat factors. Not even a month in, how much longer are Rex going to continue to burn money with this charade?
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 19:24
  #871 (permalink)  
 
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Well, they’re expanding rapidly from other ports they must know something. Surely Kim wouldn’t want to pi$$ away everything.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 21:11
  #872 (permalink)  
 
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Well, they’re expanding rapidly from other ports they must know something. Surely Kim wouldn’t want to pi$$ away everything.
That's a creeping assumption worthy of the Victorian cabinet.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 21:17
  #873 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
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There is an old aviation saying that states " The lawn mower will rev up just before it runs out of fuel" (ok maybe not an old aviation saying but still applicable)
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Old 26th Mar 2021, 02:47
  #874 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
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Just had to book a colleague home from MEL to SYD tonight. Both QF and VA were full for flights between 4 and 5:30. At the same time, ZL still has seats available at just $79 on its one flight. Still didn't give REX to business though because if their 5pm flight was delayed, they only had one other flight all night and that was 8pm!

It is fair to say, the REX mainline jet operation is in more trouble than the early settlers. They may be able to develop a niche on leisure routes which would mean they would effectively just be replacing Tiger. Not a bad option and it would mean they could differentiate their product a bit and look to move into the ULCC space. Their current strategy (if you could call it that) is doomed.

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Old 26th Mar 2021, 02:54
  #875 (permalink)  
 
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And their 5th Jet has just arrived too...
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Old 26th Mar 2021, 03:00
  #876 (permalink)  
 
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ULCC or not they can’t stimulate demand from low fares as it is, it wouldn’t make any difference.

Jetstar is a machine to go up against in that space.
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Old 26th Mar 2021, 03:33
  #877 (permalink)  
 
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You're right on price but pitching as a leisure oriented LCC would enable them to target their marketing in a way that makes sense. At the moment, they don't belong anywhere. They say they are offering a product that rivals QF but charge rock-bottom prices. This just makes people think they are going broke....
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Old 26th Mar 2021, 06:19
  #878 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2016
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Originally Posted by 1A_Please View Post
Just had to book a colleague home from MEL to SYD tonight. Both QF and VA were full for flights between 4 and 5:30. At the same time, ZL still has seats available at just $79 on its one flight. Still didn't give REX to business though because if their 5pm flight was delayed, they only had one other flight all night and that was 8pm!

It is fair to say, the REX mainline jet operation is in more trouble than the early settlers. They may be able to develop a niche on leisure routes which would mean they would effectively just be replacing Tiger. Not a bad option and it would mean they could differentiate their product a bit and look to move into the ULCC space. Their current strategy (if you could call it that) is doomed.
I did a bit of poking around on the various booking engines earlier and Rex's load factors are diabolically low.

For instance, Rex's fullest Sydney - Melbourne flight today was their 12.30pm, flight ZL105. That flew with a sub-40 percent load factor with just 63-odd seats filled out of 168 in the economy cabin.

The equivalent Qantas and Virgin flights, QF447 (12:30pm departure) and VA838 (12pm departure) flew with 96 percent and 82 percent economy loads respectively. When you look at the traditionally very high load factor flights like the 6.30pm departure Sydney - Melbourne, Qantas's QF483 is essentially full; when I looked this morning there was one unsold economy seat out of 162 and one out of 12 business class seats unsold.

Jetstar's 6.30pm, JQ523, is running at 100 percent.

Virgin's 6.30pm flight, VA878, was running at 83 percent (surprisingly with 7 out of 8 business class seats sold - some people like 2 minute noodles I guess).

The equivalent Rex flight, ZL153, had a grand total of 16 seats filled (and not one of the 8 business class seats sold) for a load factor of 9 percent.

Regardless of where Rex's cost base is you can not make money with those sorts of loads. And the tenting of their loads around midday suggests that they have not made any inroads to the corporate market.

I'd like to hear Sharpie's spin on this.
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Old 26th Mar 2021, 06:50
  #879 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Whilst I agree that Rex's load factors are low, it needs to be mentioned that the promo fares require passengers to pay $6 for seat selection. For some, this is a cost they don't want to pay.

Rex's booking system does not assign a seat to those who don't pay until check-in. All seats are available for passengers who pay for a more flexible fare, legroom seats or $6. Therefore, snooping at seat maps isn't portraying a completely accurate economy figure.

Touching on the topic of load factors. I believe it's completely far fetched to think Rex will fill their 737's consistently from day 1. It takes time to build a customer base, especially when most who aren't from country ports don't know who Rex are (yet). They are beginning to advertise (perhaps finally forking out for a marketing department now PAG have board members), which will see pax loads gradually increase.
It cannot be forgotten that COVID is still around with lots of uncertainty up in the air. I'm interested to see what happens with these 800,000 1/2 price flights now that Queensland have another community COVID case.

Not helping Rex's cause is the fact some booking sites (exclusive of Webjet) don't actually advertise Rex's lowest fare. Comparing flights in a weeks time, VA was the suggested airline with Rex coming in 3rd behind Jetstar due price. When looking at the respective websites for the same date and flights, Rex were in fact the cheapest by a few dollars, however the comparison site did not advertise Rex's promo flights. This is true for multiple websites.

Most mum and dads aren't aviation fanatics and therefore may not book from the airlines website and book simply from the cheapest fare available upon instant comparisons. If these sites aren't actually showing Rex's cheapest fares, they are potentially losing a lot of customers for no reason.
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Old 26th Mar 2021, 08:32
  #880 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
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Originally Posted by MickG0105 View Post
I did a bit of poking around on the various booking engines earlier and Rex's load factors are diabolically low.

For instance, Rex's fullest Sydney - Melbourne flight today was their 12.30pm, flight ZL105. That flew with a sub-40 percent load factor with just 63-odd seats filled out of 168 in the economy cabin.

The equivalent Qantas and Virgin flights, QF447 (12:30pm departure) and VA838 (12pm departure) flew with 96 percent and 82 percent economy loads respectively. When you look at the traditionally very high load factor flights like the 6.30pm departure Sydney - Melbourne, Qantas's QF483 is essentially full; when I looked this morning there was one unsold economy seat out of 162 and one out of 12 business class seats unsold.

Jetstar's 6.30pm, JQ523, is running at 100 percent.

Virgin's 6.30pm flight, VA878, was running at 83 percent (surprisingly with 7 out of 8 business class seats sold - some people like 2 minute noodles I guess).

The equivalent Rex flight, ZL153, had a grand total of 16 seats filled (and not one of the 8 business class seats sold) for a load factor of 9 percent.

Regardless of where Rex's cost base is you can not make money with those sorts of loads. And the tenting of their loads around midday suggests that they have not made any inroads to the corporate market.

I'd like to hear Sharpie's spin on this.
Virgin launched their new inflight catering yesterday. Business class passengers were generally receptive in a positive way with the offering. (Not hard considering the 2 minute "noodle gate" debacle). No complaints from the economy guests on the 3 sectors I operated yesterday. Time will tell. Poor cabin crew had zero training or knowledge of the product before yesterday, contrary to what miss Jayne stated.

Supposedly the reason there was no food the last 6 months was because there were in depth catering contract negotiations. Told today it was a last minute contract drawn up for 12 months with the previous contractor Gate Gourmet..........
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