After producing the 340A for a number of years, the second generation 340B was introduced in 1989 and incorporated more powerful engines and wider horizontal stabilizers among other improvements. Later "B" models were offered with a "active noise and vibration control" system as an option.
In 1994, the third generation 340B plus (340B+) commenced production and incorporated the "active noise and vibration control" system as standard aswell as a more modern interior design including the relocation of the lavatory from aft of the cabin to just aft of the flightdeck enabling more cargo volumn.
To improve field performance, extended wingtips (WT) also became a feature.
Powering the SAAB 340B and 340B+ is a pair of 1870 shp (1394 kW) General-Electric CT7-9B turboprop engines.
Regional Express Airlines (also known as REX), is a company based in Mascot, New South Wales operating regular passenger transport (RPT) and ad-hoc charter services in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.
Established in 2002 when the 'Australiawide Airlines' consortium set up by former Ansett Australia employees acquired Hazelton Airlines and Kendell Airlines, Regional Express has since grown to become Australia's largest regional airline outside the Qantas group of companies and not only maintains a fleet consisting entirely of the Swedish built SAAB 340 turboprop but one of the worlds largest fleet of the twin-engined aircraft.
In 2005, Australiawide Airlines was renamed Regional Express Holdings and partially floated on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). During the same year, Regional Express Airlines also aquired Dubbo based Air Link.
Further expansion of Regional Express Holdings came about in 2007 when the company announced it will establish a cadet-pilot flight-training programme in an effort to resolve an on-going shortage of pilots.
As a joint venture between Regional Express Airlines and Mangalore Airport Pty Ltd, the Civil Aviation Training Academy based at Mangalore Airport in Victoria was created however Regional Express soon acquired full ownership of the flying school and renamed it the Australian Airline Pilot Academy (AAPA).
In 2009, the Australian Airline Pilot Academy (AAPA) relocated from Mangalore Airport to Wagga Wagga Airport in partnership with the City of Wagga Wagga.
Today, Regional Express Airlines maintains a fleet of approximately fifty SAAB 340B and "B plus" models.
To learn about REX's Queensland operations, click onto the link below :