Rex - Regional Express (ZL, Wagga Wagga) has announced it will restart mainline B737-800 operations between Sydney Kingsford Smith, Melbourne Tullamarine, and Canberra on November 15, 2021, with services to Adelaide and Coolangatta/Gold Coast due to follow once South Australia and Queensland reach an 80% fully-vaccinated threshold.

The Australian carrier suspended all of its B737 routes in late July 2021, given a wave of strict lockdowns and inter-state boundary closures imposed due to the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases. While individual states are gradually lifting local lockdowns, travel is set to remain restricted. New South Wales - where Sydney is located - is planning to allow its citizens to travel freely, including abroad, as of November 1. However, nationwide rules for foreign arrivals are yet to be specified. Travel between individual states in Australia is likely to be limited to essential travellers or subject to quarantines through December 2021.

The airline said it would "progressively ramp up" the B737 operations as demand returns. South Australia could reach the 80% vaccination rate by early December and Queensland by the middle of the month.

Rex currently operates six B737-800s. It was planning to add a further four by the end of the year but said it would defer these deliveries to 2022 due to the impact of the COVID-related restrictions.

Besides B737 operations, launched in March 2021, Rex's core business of regional services did not stop during the recent lockdowns. The airline operates one S340A, thirty S340Bs, and twenty-six S340B(Plus)es, the ch-aviation fleets advanced module indicates.