QANTAS Group has made this announcement:
The Northern Territory is set for an employment and tourism boost with Qantas announcing plans to set up a new Embraer E190 jet base at Darwin Airport.
At least four E190s will be based in Darwin to service key QantasLink routes across Australia, as well as a new international passenger service from Darwin to Dili.
The E190 jets feature both business and economy cabins with up to 97-seats and a five-hour range. They are being deployed on Qantas’ network as part of a three-year deal with Alliance Airlines to ramp up domestic flights and increase connections and schedules between smaller capital cities and regional centers.
With support from the Northern Territory Government, basing the four aircraft in Darwin will bring an additional 90 jobs to the Territory, including pilots, cabin crew and engineers recruited by Alliance Airlines.
The size, range and economics of the aircraft have opened up more flights on existing routes as well as new routes that wouldn’t be viable with larger aircraft, including three new domestic routes from Darwin to Canberra, Cairns and Townsville.
Qantas has been operating weekly flights between Darwin and Dili since February 2021 in partnership with the Australian Government to maintain critical passenger and freight links with Timor-Leste. This service will now become a permanent commercial route with the E190 aircraft with three flights per week, ramping up to five flights each week from July.
All E190 aircraft activated as part of the deal with Alliance will progressively be painted in QantasLink livery.
The Qantas Group currently operates a total 18 routes from Darwin, Alice Springs and Ayers Rock Airports and connects Darwin directly to eight domestic destinations.
Qantas has also announced that it will extend the operation of its double daily Australia to London flights via Darwin until June.
International flights are subject to Government and Regulatory approval.
In other news, Qantas will keep flying its double daily direct flights from Australia to London via Darwin following ongoing uncertainty around the reopening of the West Australian border and testing requirements for passengers transiting through Singapore.
When international travel recommenced in November last year, but Western Australia remained closed, Qantas temporarily re-routed its Perth to London service via Darwin.
Qantas worked closely with the Northern Territory Government to set up Darwin as an alternative hub, allowing passengers to arrive in or transit through the Territory capital as they returned home to Australia or travelled overseas to reunite with loved ones.
The Perth to London service was scheduled to revert to operating via Perth in April, but with the West Australian Government yet to confirm a reopening date for the state, Qantas will continue to operate the route via Darwin until at least June 2022.
To streamline transit arrangements for passengers, Qantas will also continue to operate the Sydney to London flight via Darwin instead of through Singapore until June 2022.
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