Another Rex Airlines route has been established, with the first Melbourne-Devonport route touching down yesterday in the Tasmanian city. The launch of this service is bound to be popular as it breaks a long-lasting monopoly held by Australia’s flagship carrier, Qantas.

Travellers on tarmac embrace new Rex Melbourne to Devonport route
The first flight of the route touched down just after 8am on Friday morning in Devonport © Rex

Rex Airlines touches down in Devonport

Greeted by the traditional water cannon welcome, the Rex aircraft made a positive start in the launching of the new route. Arriving at 8:10am yesterday morning, the aircraft was 10 minutes ahead of schedule, currently an unheard of occurrence in the post-pandemic aviation sector.

The service will be occurring twice-daily on weekdays, with fares starting from $149 one way, already cheaper than competitor Qantas. The service enables day return travel in both directions, welcoming those who need a day trip between the two states to do so.

The Melbourne to Devonport journey takes one hour and twenty minutes, with the flight departing at 7:00am and 5:00pm respectfully. The Devonport to Melbourne flight time is slightly quicker at one hour and 15 minutes, departing at both 8:45am and 6:45pm.

Hon. John Sharp AM, Rex Deputy Chairman, acknowledges that Rex will be able to connect northern Tasmania to Victoria’s capital easier and cheaper than before.

“We are delighted to once again be able to offer competitive airfares, reliable services
and user-friendly schedules to the long suffering and neglected communities of northern
Tasmania who for far too long have been forced to pay exorbitant prices,” he says.

Rex officials welcome the new Devonport to Melbourne route
Tasmanian Premier, Jeremy Rockliff, Rex Deputy Chairman, Hon John Sharp AM, Chief Executive Officer of TasPorts, Anthony Donald, Devonport Mayor, Annette Radcliff, and Latrobe Mayor, Peter Freshney all welcomed the Melbourne to Devonport route © Rex

Boosting travel after the pandemic

Devonport will not be the last Tasmanian city for Rex to travel to however, as the airline has expressed its keen interest in continuing to connect the Apple Isle with the rest of the country. Rex currently operates routine flights to Burnie and King Island from Melbourne, with expression to expand its already 58 destinations the airline travels to across Australia. The operating fleet consists of 61 Saab 340 and six Boeing 737-800NG.

Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff is optimistic about Rex’s reintroduction to Devonport as the airline stopped its services to the area in 2005. He believes that the service will be the next boost Tasmania’s economy needs in strengthening and growing its tourism after the impact of the pandemic over the last few years.

“The direct flights will provide more options for travellers and additional capacity to meet
demand and has been warmly welcomed by the Tasmanian community, tourism and
business operators,” he says.

Devonport, also known as “The Gateway to Tasmania” is currently only serviced by Qantas. Now, the monopoly has been broken and competition is taking place, giving travellers, from locals to holiday-goers, a choice as to where they spend their money. The last few weeks have also seen journeys once dominated by the flying kangaroo become open to competitors, with airlines including Link Airways competing against Qantas as they struggle to maintain pre-pandemic customer satisfaction.

Will you be travelling on the new route? Let us know in the comments below!

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