Rex - Regional Express (ZL, Wagga Wagga) is no longer planning to add a further four B737-800s in 2021 but is instead targeting deliveries by mid-2022 as Australia continues to reel from yet another round of hard lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We’ve always said that we’ll scale up and scale down according to the circumstance. So we’ve delayed those [planes] until such time as things return to normal," Deputy Chairman John Sharp said during the carrier's annual investor briefing.

The airline is a newcomer to the narrowbody market, having resolved to expand beyond its traditional regional segment in 2020. It launched the first mainline route, from Sydney Kingsford Smith to Melbourne Tullamarine, in March 2021. To date, Rex has inducted six B737-800s leased from Virgin Australia (three), Castlelake (two), and Banc of America Leasing Ireland (one). As its expansion was met with better than expected customer demand, it initially accelerated the arrival of a further four units from late 2021 to September. However, the same units have now been deferred until the next year.

Besides the B737s, Rex also operates one S340A, thirty S340Bs, and twenty-six S340B(Plus) on its legacy regional network in Australia. Its subsidiary Pel-Air Aviation operates three S340A(F)s for cargo operations and nine Beech (twin turboprop) King Airs on medevac contracts in Victoria and New South Wales.

The carrier posted a AUD4.9 million Australian dollar (USD3.6 million) net loss for the year ended June 30, 2021.