国内航空公司的挑战者Rex打响机票价格战的第一枪，将墨尔本和悉尼之间的票价降至“低于出租车费用”。 <br />
https://www.heraldsun.com.au/bus … 2784b78b89691a1016e
Domestic airline challenger Rex has fired the first shots in an airfare war, dropping prices to “less than a taxi fare” on Melbourne-Sydney services.
With its first flights due to begin in under three weeks, Rex is desperate to take up the fight to Qantas and Virgin Australia and carve out a place in the competitive domestic landscape.
As a result, sale fares have been slashed from $79 one-way to $49, and business fares from $299 to $199. The fares are available for flights in March only, and must be booked by the end of February.
Rex deputy chairman John Sharp said the cheap fares presented “a wonderful opportunity to get between Australia’s two biggest cities on a whim to get over the COVID blues”.
“Most taxi rides to the airport cost more than $49,” Mr Sharp said, adding that the fare included 23kg of checked baggage, 7kg of carry on and refreshments on board. He said Rex also guaranteed a full refund in the event of flights being affected by COVID-19.
The $49 fare undercuts sale fares offered by other airlines on the route, with Virgin Australia charging $95, Qantas $110 and Jetstar $105 one-way.
In an effort to reinvigorate demand decimated by COVID-19 and snap border closures, Qantas and Virgin Australia have acknowledged travellers want more than cheap fares to book flights.
Both have extended no change fee policies until 2022 to give travellers confidence they can move their flights at no extra cost if needed.
Qantas has also upgraded its in-flight service in the economy cabin to include complimentary beer and wine from midday and a hot meal option at breakfast and dinner.
In response, Virgin Australia has launched a double Velocity points campaign until next Wednesday, as an added sweetener to book a flight.
“We look forward to giving more Australians the opportunity to fly again, to go on holiday, to reunite with family and friends and to do business, thanks to cheaper fares, free flexibility and double Velocity points,” a Virgin Australia spokesman said.
From March 1, Rex will operate nine return flights a day between Melbourne and Sydney, using Boeing 737s, with eight business-class seats and 168 in economy.
It’s unclear if the extra capacity will be needed, with Qantas and Jetstar offering a total of 40 return services a day and Virgin Australia 18 return flights.
The major carriers are still yet to ramp up to pre-COVID levels, when more than 100 flights operated between Melbourne and Sydney each day.
With Rex planning to increase its fleet of 737s to five by April, and as many as 10 by year’s end, Mr Sharp said it would have the ability to adjust services in response to demand.
“We’re starting very small and as the market grows, we’ll keep dialling it up by adding extra aircraft and extra crews — we’ll only do that as demand requires it,” he said.
“We’re in a much more nimble position than our competitors.”
Services to Queensland were expected to start after Easter to complete the “Golden Triangle”, so called due to the heavy business traffic normally carried between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.