Rex - Regional Express (ZL, Wagga Wagga) is looking at launching passenger services in the Northern Territory (NT) based out of Darwin, the regional carrier said in a statement posted on its website on June 3.

The resolution by the airline's board came as uncertainty over the future of Airnorth (Australia) (TL, Alice Springs) continues. Airnorth's parent Bristow Group, a Houston-based industrial aviation services provider, filed for bankruptcy protection of its United States and Cayman Islands entities at the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas on May 11.

John Sharp, deputy chairman of REX, said he would lead a delegation to the NT in the coming weeks to speak with political and business leaders.

“Following Airnorth’s parent company, the Bristow Group, going into Chapter 11 in the United States, many concerned stakeholders have approached Rex to ensure the long-term viability of regional air services in the Northern Territory (NT)," Sharp explained in the statement.

“The Rex Board is sympathetic to the plight of the Territorians and shares the views of the concerned stakeholders who believe that Rex would be the best chance for the NT to have a sustainable, quality regional air service with affordable fares.”

Sharp cited a case in which REX started operations for the first time in Western Australia (WA) in 2016, after winning a tender for routes between Perth Int'l and both Albany, WA and Esperance. These routes had been abandoned by previous operator Virgin Australia Regional (OZW, Perth Int'l), but Regional Express had made a success of them, he said.

Regional Express currently flies to sixty destinations across Australia with a fleet of thirty Saab 340B, twenty-five Saab 340B(Plus), and one Saab 340A aircraft, according to ch-aviation fleets advanced. Besides the airline, Rex Group has the wholly owned subsidiaries Pel-Air Aviation (PFY, Sydney Kingsford Smith), a cargo and charter operator, and the Australian Airline Pilot Academy.