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  • Writer's pictureFlow Australia

Regional Express lifts revenue, flags further expansion

Regional Express hopes the delivery of new planes to its fleet will help increase flying and boost revenue as the airline battles to become profitable.

Travellers can expect more choice when booking flights as airline Regional Express eyes further expansion into the domestic market.

The emerging competitor to heavyweights Qantas and Virgin on Wednesday reported it doubled its revenue for the year, helping Rex narrow full-year operating losses to $31.7 million from $68.3 million the year prior.

A one-off $44.5 million uplift in the company's value, due to the takeover of FIFO charter airline National Jet Express, helped it to a statutory profit after tax of $14.4 million.

A reduction in passenger demand in the first six months of 2023 impacted negatively on earnings, even as revenue increased from $319.2 million to $642.8 million. 

"The legacy effects of COIVD continued to smash the aviation industry in financial year 2023, manifesting itself in acute pilot shortages and severe dislocation of the supply chain," Rex executive chairman Lim Kim Hai said in an announcement to the ASX.

He believes prospects are much brighter for the year ahead as passenger demand benefits from the reset of corporate travel budgets and tie-ups with travel agencies and corporate accounts.

Rex will receive delivery of its ninth and tenth Boeing 737-800 aircraft, bolstering revenue and expansion plans as the company launches its frequent flyer program. 

Increased competition would be welcomed by passengers already struggling to meet the cost of living.

The federal government has come under fire for its decision to block Qatar Airways from running additional flights to Australia, with critics claiming the move artificially reduces competition and keeps prices higher.

Rex declined to pay out a dividend, given the operating loss, and did not provide a profit guidance for the next financial year, citing uncertainty in the global economic outlook.

The company's share price dropped 2.4 per cent to $1.04 by noon AEST.


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