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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 4th May 2021, 07:01
  #1041 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: New Zealand
Age: 68
Posts: 149
Originally Posted by MickG0105 View Post
No one batted a class action eyelid as VA's board embarked on a decade of trashing shareholder value and VA had something like five times as many ordinary shareholders as Rex.

Never say never but I just can't see Rex shareholders going down that path - where's the pay day for a litigation funder? Rex's market cap is less than $150 million and less than half of that is in the hands of minority shareholders.

If it was to happen, it'd be on Rex's grave - the race will be well and truly run by then.
In the bigger scheme of things inside the corporate world, REX is a piddly little granule of sand on a large beach. Shareholders are too few and small in number to risk all for a few possible crumbs via litigation or a shareholder revolt. If REX was Amazon or Microsoft that would be a different story. Besides, BOD’s have it all in hand and have a plethora of legitimate excuses for any bad financial decisions - it was COVID’s fault, Alan was anti-competitive, the Stockmarket tanked, a sunspot affected the flight deck equipment in the old 737’s, Sharpies Mum fell over and broke her leg, someone pinched the keys to the corporate safe....and so it goes.


Last edited by Paragraph377; 5th May 2021 at 23:54.
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Old 5th May 2021, 23:06
  #1042 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: HKG
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Any updates? Are the $39 fares bumping up their load factors?
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Old 6th May 2021, 00:11
  #1043 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Hotel Quarantine
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Any updates? Are the $39 fares bumping up their load factors?
Don’t know about $39 fares bumping up load factors, but it’s certainly not bumping up the share price!



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Old 6th May 2021, 23:36
  #1044 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: AUS
Posts: 82
$39 fares still available 40 mins prior to departure on a Friday. Hey, that's cheaper than my staff travel! 😂
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Old 6th May 2021, 23:48
  #1045 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 313
Originally Posted by pinkpanther1 View Post
$39 fares still available 40 mins prior to departure on a Friday. Hey, that's cheaper than my staff travel! 😂
Probably the best time to buy them. At least you know there is a good chance they'll still be flying in 3/4 of an hour.
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Old 7th May 2021, 02:00
  #1046 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Asia Pacific
Age: 50
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That's the difference between Rex and Winter, right?

Winter will still be around after July.........
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Old 7th May 2021, 03:04
  #1047 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 408
Originally Posted by minigundiplomat View Post
That's the difference between Rex and Winter, right?

Winter will still be around after July.........
Nah - Winter will be here in June 😳😳
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Old 7th May 2021, 06:15
  #1048 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: BBN
Posts: 292
Well, they're still employing pilots, they must be doing O.K and see some kind of future. They will still be around next yr.
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Old 7th May 2021, 08:01
  #1049 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Home
Posts: 686
Another Rex route sees competition from QF
https://www.qantasnewsroom.com.au/me...ack-to-burnie/

Also doubling flights to Mount Gambier
https://www.qantasnewsroom.com.au/me...adelaide-home/

I can only imagine what Rex will have to say about that!
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Old 7th May 2021, 08:26
  #1050 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 38
Originally Posted by Going Nowhere View Post
Another Rex route sees competition from QF
https://www.qantasnewsroom.com.au/me...ack-to-burnie/

Also doubling flights to Mount Gambier
https://www.qantasnewsroom.com.au/me...adelaide-home/

I can only imagine what Rex will have to say about that!
Naturally, there'll probably be an announcement tomorrow they're commencing services to Devonport.
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Old 7th May 2021, 08:52
  #1051 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: BBN
Posts: 292
$9 seats maybe
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Old 7th May 2021, 08:56
  #1052 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: home
Posts: 396
Well, they're still employing pilots, they must be doing O.K and see some kind of future. They will still be around next yr.
Yep, sound logic, Air Australia (Strategic) were operating as if nothing was wrong 12 hours before they shut the doors
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Old 7th May 2021, 09:06
  #1053 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by Going Nowhere View Post
Another Rex route sees competition from QF
https://www.qantasnewsroom.com.au/me...ack-to-burnie/

Also doubling flights to Mount Gambier
https://www.qantasnewsroom.com.au/me...adelaide-home/

I can only imagine what Rex will have to say about that!

Was always going to happen.
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Old 7th May 2021, 09:23
  #1054 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Sunshine Coast
Posts: 325
Originally Posted by Going Nowhere View Post
Another Rex route sees competition from QF
https://www.qantasnewsroom.com.au/me...ack-to-burnie/

Also doubling flights to Mount Gambier
https://www.qantasnewsroom.com.au/me...adelaide-home/

I can only imagine what Rex will have to say about that!
The usual.
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Old 8th May 2021, 00:40
  #1055 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
Age: 55
Posts: 2,025
In The Weekend Australian Business Review, high flying Hazelton hails Rex resurgence.

Somebody may be able to post the article, mine is the old fashioned newsprint version.
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Old 8th May 2021, 01:58
  #1056 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Sunshine Coast
Posts: 325
Originally Posted by Stationair8 View Post
In The Weekend Australian Business Review, high flying Hazelton hails Rex resurgence.

Somebody may be able to post the article, mine is the old fashioned newsprint version.
Here you go, apologies if it hasn't formatted correctly.
High-flying Hazelton hails Rex resurgence
With the little airline he started in a paddock now taking on the likes of Qantas and Virgin, Max Hazelton sees good days ahead for Australian aviation.
By DAMON KITNEY

Of all the aircraft Max Hazelton has flown on over his 95 years, the Regional Express flight from Orange to Sydney on the afternoon of February 28 was extra special.

At his side was his only son Graham, better known by his nickname Toby, who often calls his dad “boss”.

The next morning, as the clock at Sydney Airport ticked over to 8.25am, they stood together at the arrival gate to greet Rex’s inaugural 737 jet service from Melbourne. The carrier was formed two decades ago from the merger of Kendall Airlines and the regional carrier Max Hazelton and his brother Jim started in 1953 called Hazelton Airlines.

“It was very hard not to have wet eyes because it was such a big day. They were looking after me extremely well with a wheelchair. It was an amazing day,’’ Max tells The Weekend Australian, his now permanently bloodshot eyes again turning misty for a moment behind his spectacles.

The jet was flown by captains John Veitch and Brett Brown, both ex-Hazelton pilots who took voluntary redundancies from Virgin Australia last year.

“They came home again,” Max says with a beaming smile. “ (Rex deputy chairman and former federal transport minister) John Sharp has been a magnificent person promoting things.”

After decades of competing head-on with Qantas on regional routes, Max is excited by what is known internally at Rex as “Project Mother”, its move onto Australia’s busiest air route using jets previously leased by the collapsed and now private equity-resurrected Virgin.

Rex is also flying jets from Melbourne to Adelaide and from Melbourne and Sydney to Coolangatta.

“The areas have got so big — like Melbourne, Sydney — and once this pandemic is over, I think people will start travelling tremendously. I think that Rex, with the service they are providing on the 737s, will take a lot of beating,” Max says.

This week Rex started a price war with its rivals, offering $39 trips between the two cities, less than the cost of a bus fare.

It sparked the biggest day of fare sales in Rex’s history, generating 10 times its normal daily ticket revenues.

“If they went any lower, we would have to pay people to fly with us. The $39 fare we are charging, most of that goes in airport taxes and charges and government taxes and charges. This is as low as they can go,” John Sharp quips.

He’s not surprised by the competitive response, which saw Virgin drop its fares to as low as $30. Jetstar and to a lesser extent Qantas also cut their prices. “We thought they would follow suit — they had to,” he says.

The move was about giving the public an incentive to try out the new Rex services.

Sharp describes Max Hazelton as the nation’s “greatest living aviator and an absolute pioneer in regional and agricultural aviation”.

“Because of his ingenuity, the regulator had to keep changing the laws to accommodate new things Max came up with,’’ he says.

“One of the great legacies of Max and Laurel is they created a family business culture which still runs thick through our business today and is the reason we have survived and a reason we are competitive not just in the regional space, but now the domestic space.”

Sharp is speaking of Hazelton’s wife of 64 years, who was missing from his side that February morning in Sydney after she couldn’t make the trip from Orange.

For decades she kept the Hazelton business wheels turning while her husband took to the skies, organising catering, pilot rosters and looking after the books.

Today she is sitting alongside him in their cosy home not far from the Orange city centre after Max, who now has a deep stoop when he stands, invited her to join our interview.

Above the dining table atop a cabinet are a decorated array of model Rex and Hazelton planes. On the adjacent wall hangs a stunning painting of one of Hazelton’s first Saab aircraft taking flight.

On the table is a signed copy of the book on Max’s life by author Denis Gregory titled “The Hazelton Story”, launched in 2014 by famed entrepreneur Dick Smith.

“I think I got caught. It was a busy life, I can assure you. Aviation is a very interesting, challenging life,” Laurel says. “We had well over 200 employees and they were fantastic employees.”

In 1953 Max started his charter airline service in a paddock at Toogong near Orange, after borrowing money from his mother to buy an old aeroplane.

He famously survived being lost for six days after walking 100km through thick bush when his plane crashed in bad weather returning from Sydney to Toogong, sparking what was then Australia’s biggest single rescue effort.

In 1959 he moved his operation to nearby Cudal where he and his pilots hand-built a runway and terminal and Hazelton Airlines soon became renowned for its cropdusting and then night aerial cropping, aerial fire fighting, flood relief and rescue work.

It gradually expanded to be a major passenger airline feeding country areas employing 270 staff, carrying 400,000 passengers a year to 23 country ports.

Max still drives his immaculately maintained white Holden ute around the streets of Orange, occasionally falling foul of the law.

“A policemen stopped me six months ago driving from downtown to home. He asked to see my licence. I said it was in my wallet, which I had lost the day before, and that I was going to the motor registry to get another copy of it. He went back to his car, got on the radio and came back to me and said I was OK to drive. But a few weeks later a letter came with a $150 fine,’’ he says.

“I rang the local member and he told me to write a letter so I wrote to Transport NSW and told them what I thought of them. And they dropped the fine.”

Also in his garage is a 20-year-old luxury Holden Statesmen, which has only travelled 50,000km, including a single trip across the Nullarbor Plain to Perth.

Max once famously locked horns with Bob Hawke and the ACTU by defying a union ban to fly live merino sheep out of Australia.

He also recalls flying Kerry Packer on several occasions from Sydney to his Ellerston polo property near Scone. “If you had any magazines on board, he would say ‘What have you got this bloody rubbish for?’ He wasn’t very talkative, but his wife was. His kids were small then,’’ Max says.

While he hasn’t flown in an aircraft for many years, he has fond memories of his time in the air, especially running Hazelton’s commuter operations.

“The flying was great. It was always a challenge. No two days were the same. From a very young age, I was very keen to fly,” he says.

But what he doesn’t miss is battling bigger rivals. “Everywhere we went, like Armidale and Tamworth, it was working quite well but then Qantas came in, cut the fares considerably, and basically killed us. Because we couldn’t operate because we were paying higher fees each month on the SAABs. We couldn’t cut prices to match them,’’ he says.

“They were fair old buggers doing that. Anywhere we went, they would cut the fares. That is the battle we had. Taking on the big boys like that is a very difficult situation.”

Rex has been criticised over the past year for the level of government subsidies it received at the same time as it was launching capital city jet services.

$62m of subsidies — including JobKeeper — kept it alive during the COVID pandemic when passenger numbers fell 80 per cent and the airline posted a bottom line $19.4m loss.

Rex’s move to launch jet services prompted Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce to reiterate his long-held belief that there was only room for two competitors in the domestic market, a position rebuffed by John Sharp.

Max Hazelton applauds Rex’s expansion plans, which are being partly bankrolled by Asian private equity PAG after it invested $150m into the company via a convertible note issue last November.

He still believes the 1994 decision to list Hazelton Airlines on the Australian Stock Exchange was wrong. A year later he stepped down as CEO of the airline after a boardroom fight for control of the company.

In 2001 the Hazelton family sold its Hazelton Airlines stake to Ansett after the then haemorrhaging domestic carrier won a takeover battle with Qantas. In September that year, Ansett collapsed and Hazelton and Kendall Airlines were also put into administration.

While he was no longer involved with Hazelton, Max was devastated.

“It was a silly mistake to go public and the whole thing was out of control. The float was the undoing of the whole show. Laurel and I were in America and someone from Ansett rang me at midnight US time and said they were going to make a bid for Hazelton. I said ‘You can do that if you want to’ because I was fed up with the board,’’ he says.

“I thought Ansett would be the best thing for us the way things were going. Ansett were good to us over the years. Then Ansett went under. We were horribly disappointed then because the whole thing had gone. We thought there would be no future for it at all. Then the Singaporeans came in and it lived another day.”

The executive chairman of Rex, Singaporean businessman Lim Kim Hai, bought majority control of Rex with his business partner Lee Thian Soo after it was launched from the merger of Hazelton and Kendall in August 2002. Interests associated with Lim now own 65 per cent of Rex.

While the Hazelton family has parted ways with Rex, Max and Laurel still have $10,000 worth of shares and attend each annual meeting as ambassadors of the airline.

The Hazelton name lives on in aviation through Toby Hazelton, who now runs his father’s agricultural flying operation, Hazelton Agricultural Services.

“It made it easier for me clientele-wise, because the name was there. But then I had to live up to the name. It has been a great thing for me,’’ Toby says of taking over the business three decades ago.

His daughter Georgia is now also flying, while his youngest son Jock is studying for his pilot’s licence while he completes year 12.

“It is a great thing for the family. I didn’t have to encourage it (flying) with my kids — it is in their veins I think,’’ he says.

Other members of the wider Hazelton family also fly for Rex, Qantas, Cathay Pacific and pilot private jets for wealthy clients in America.

Max will always consider his greatest contribution to aviation was to help country people travel further, faster than ever before. His legend will live on in Rex’s motto plastered on the livery of its new jet fleet: “Our heart is in the country”.

“In the early days we were using very small planes. It meant a hell of a lot to those people to spend the day in Sydney and be able to get home at night. That was the aim,” he says. “The aeroplanes coming up to the country towns, it has certainly helped them get bigger to support them.”
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Old 8th May 2021, 02:21
  #1057 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Asia Pacific
Age: 50
Posts: 1,858
That’s so sweet,

He’ll be gutted when Sharpie tanks the company.
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Old 8th May 2021, 03:05
  #1058 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Sunshine Coast
Posts: 325
Originally Posted by minigundiplomat View Post
That’s so sweet,

He’ll be gutted when Sharpie tanks the company.
I was wondering if Max had a view on the recent FWC finding that Rex's General Manager – Engineering, the Deputy General Manager – Engineering and a Human Resources Adviser had engaged in persistent bullying of a LAME over his reporting of safety issues.
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Old 8th May 2021, 03:11
  #1059 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: AWOL from YWOL
Posts: 113
Anyone have any update on their loads? Has their dogfight with QF resulted in any more pax?
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Old 8th May 2021, 03:40
  #1060 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: New Zealand
Age: 68
Posts: 149
Originally Posted by MickG0105 View Post
Here you go, apologies if it hasn't formatted correctly.
Is Wendy still flying?
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