Rex Airlines has announced plans to add new services from Melbourne and Sydney, as the Australian regional airline moves to compete on routes operated by carriers including Qantas and Virgin Australia.

Rex will launch flights from Melbourne to the Gold Coast on March 29, followed by a new Melbourne-Adelaide service on March 31, and Sydney-Gold Coast on April 1. The new routes will join flights between Sydney and Melbourne which launched this week.

Rex will be competing with Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin Australia on the routes. The carrier is better known for operating regional domestic routes using Saab 340 turboprop aircraft, but has been expanding its fleet to include several leased B737-800 jet aircraft.

The new routes will operate twice daily, with the aircraft configured for eight business class seats and 168 seats in economy.

Last month Rex announced plans to drop five regional routes, citing a “predatory move” by Qantas to expand its regional domestic network.

Rex cuts regional Australia routes, cites “predatory move” by Qantas

Commenting on the news Rex’s deputy chairman, The Hon John Sharp AM, said:

“South Australia and Queensland have always benefited from Rex’s regional services that are renowned for reliability and great country hospitality at affordable fares.

“I am pleased to announce that these two States will, for the first time, be able to enjoy the same benefits for their domestic services.”

“I wish to thank both Adelaide Airport and the Gold Coast Airport who have worked tirelessly with us to make this happen in such a short time frame.”