REX Board approves plans for domestic operations

Following the announcement to the ASX on May 13, 2020 of the Regional Express Group’s intentions to explore the feasibility of commencing domestic operations in Australia, Regional Express (Rex) has been engaged in confidential exploratory discussions with various parties to assess the availability of funding for starting up domestic operations.

The Rex Board has now formed the view that Rex could successfully embark on domestic operations. Consequently, the Board has approved an initiative to raise a minimum of AUD$30 million (US$21 million), which the Board now believes will be all that is needed for the launch of limited domestic operations, through one or more of the following avenues: sale-and-leaseback arrangement, equity injection and convertible notes.

Discussions with interested parties including lessors and private equity funds have not been finalized and the Board will reconvene within three weeks to decide on the structure of the fund raising and the maximum amount that will be raised. Where necessary, the Board will seek shareholder approval for the fund raising.

Due to the strong interest shown by various external parties to participate in the fund raising, including lessors willing to provide AUD$30 million for 15 of Rex’s fleet of 60 unencumbered Saab 340 aircraft, the Board has now formed the view that funding will be forthcoming for the minimum target sought. Consequently the Board has authorized management to commence preparations in earnest for the operation of an initial fleet of between five to ten narrow-body jet aircraft to be based out of Sydney and/or Melbourne to service the golden triangle (Sydney-Melbourne-Brisbane). The Board has confirmed March 1, 2021 as the targeted start date for domestic operations, subject to fund availability and regulatory approval.

Rex has also confirmed the execution of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with turboprop aircraft manufacturer ATR (Avions De Transport Regional), for a range of potential commercial co-operation that would complement Rex’s domestic operations.

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