Rex strengthens competition with Qantas. Both airlines have been in very fierce competition for a while. Rex has been expanding and creating routes between the major cities, usually served by Qantas. This started right after the pandemic and has continued until today. In response, Qantas also started flying to smaller cities, that were usually in Rex’s domain. Australian Aviation says competition has now reached the FIFO market.
The fly-in-fly-out market usually called FIFO is characterised by the services to certain industries like mining, where the employees need to fly to their workplace and then fly back to their home. Although major airlines like Qantas, especially through Qantas Link, could do part of these flights, there were smaller airlines dedicated to the FIFO market. Airlines like Cobham and Alliance.
Earlier this year Qantas acquired Alliance, a charter and FIFO operator from Queensland. Months later Rex acquired another FIFO operator, Cobham, expanding its services to Queensland and the Nothern Territory. According to Australian Aviation, Rex paid $48 million for the purchase. The airline has also purchased National Jet Express, which operates in Western Australia and South Australia, and freight services from Sydney to Adelaide and all other Eastern cities.
The fierce competition may benefit consumers
This strong competition between the two airlines could be very beneficial for consumers. Those working in the FIFO industry know these flights are not cheap, so if there is competition and they have more choice it may mean they can get a better deal. So it is a positive thing for this very specific market.
In fact, the domestic market is booming. Virgin Australia is back after a very difficult period, Rex is expanding and we now have another low-cost airline called Bonza. So it looks like competition is here to stay.