Qantas is launching direct flights from Darwin to Singapore in December, boosting connectivity with London.
The route will operate five times a week, increasing to daily from March 2025 with fares starting from $690.
Territory travellers will save about five hours in flying time by no longer having to go via other Australian capital cities to get to London.
Qantas International CEO Cam Wallace says the new service is the airline’s second international route out of Darwin.
“The direct service is not just great news for Territorians wanting to visit Singapore, but also for those travelling to London, Europe and across Southeast Asia, with connections to popular destinations like Phuket and Kuala Lumpur with our partner airlines, saving hours of travel time,” Mr Wallace says.
“This new route also allows us to restore the link to the UK which was established when international borders first reopened after the pandemic and we temporarily re-routed our London flight via Darwin.”
Tourism Minister Joel Bowden says the new service is a boon for the Territory.
“I think there’s something like 60,000 seats that’ll be available to come inbound which means…boots on the ground, people through the mall, shops, cafes, restaurants, hotels filling up more and more,” he says.
“It also helps with international students because we have a large number of international students who are coming to the Territory; 5,000 have enrolled this year.”
He says Central Australia will also reap the benefits of the Singapore flights.
“I reckon if you land in Darwin you’re going to end up at Uluru and as I call it, the eighth wonder of the world.”
Mr Wallace says the flights are starting at the end of the year when runway works are complete at Darwin Airport.
“Once that’s finished we’ll be able to have fully loaded planes and that means more seats and more cheaper fares,” he says.
Embraer E190 aircraft, with 97 seats will be used to operate the service, made possible after the establishment of a dedicated base for the planes at the airport.