Rex - Regional Express (ZL, Wagga Wagga) has taken delivery of its first B737-800, VH-VUF (msn 34168), despite plans only to deploy the type into revenue service in four months.

The 15.6-year-old aircraft was ferried from Toowoomba Wellcamp to Sydney Kingsford Smith on November 5, 2020. It was retired by Virgin Australia (VA, Brisbane Int'l) on March 22, 2020, and has since been stored first at Brisbane Int'l and then at Toowoomba. Rex said the aircraft would be first used for training purposes until a proving flight for the Civil Aviation and Safety Authority (CASA) on December 5, 2020.

Rex plans to debut domestic mainline B737-800 operations on March 1, 2021, on the Melbourne Tullamarine-Sydney route, adding flights to Brisbane by early April.

"If our services prove successful, we will inject up to 10 aircraft into the domestic market by the end of 2021. From there, we intend to develop a full domestic airline network, linking all the capital cities over time," Deputy Chairman John Sharp said.

The carrier said it would unveil its B737 livery in the coming weeks.