Rex to acquire Australian fly-in fly-out operator National Jet Express

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Australian airline Rex has agreed to acquire National Jet Express, the regional services unit of Cobham Aviation Services Australia, for a price of around AUD 48 million ($32.6 million).

The acquisition will be carried out through its subsidiary Rex Freight and Charter.

National Jet Express offers Fly-In Fly-Out (FIFO) services in Western Australia and South Australia. Apart from that, the regional airline runs freight services from Sydney to Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast (Coolangatta).

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National Jet Express also provides air charter services in Papua New Guinea.

Its revenue in 2021 was AUD 142 million ($96.4 million).

Rex said that half of the funding for the acquisition of National Jet Express will come from its joint venture partners. Eventually, the airline and its joint venture partners will own 50% each of the fly-in fly-out operator.

Rex to acquire Australian fly-in fly-out operator National Jet Express

Rex to acquire Australian fly-in fly-out operator National Jet Express. Photo courtesy of Bidgee/Wikipedia.org.

Lim Kim Hai — Rex Executive Chairman said: “FIFO services are expected to experience strong growth in Australia and this acquisition positions the Rex Group to participate in this booming sector.

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“With this acquisition, Rex will have a FIFO arm that is simply unparalleled in Australia. NJE has a completely modern fleet comprising eight Bombardier Q400 turboprops and six Embraer E190 jets for FIFO work. Both aircraft types are fuel efficient, have enhanced operational reliability and low carbon emissions when compared with the predominantly 40-year-old Fokker 100s used by the other major FIFO operators.”

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The closing of the deal is contingent on the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval and other regulatory approvals.

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