LONDON – Darwin International Airport in Australia is emerging as a new Embraer E190 hub with international operations as Qantas subsidiary QantasLink has announced that it will be starting regular scheduled international flights to Timor-Leste, with its wet-lease agreement with Alliance Airlines.
Qantas in its press release has announced that Darwin will be the new base for its increasing E190 fleet, as QantasLink will be expanded from the current 5 aircraft to a minimum of eight as it further stretches along with the agreement with Alliance.
The new strategic move by the Qantas to connect Australia to London via Darwin despite the western Australian border uncertainty.
Starting with four E190, Darwin is expected to serve key QantasLink destinations across regional Australia, along with an international route with a permanent passenger servicer to Dili in Timor-Leste.
In order to maintain critical passenger and freight links with Timor-Leste, Qantas has been operating flights in association with the Australian government since February 2021, however, with the latest move by QantasLink, this service is planned to become a permanent commercial route.
QantasLink will initially operate 3 weekly flights in Dili using E190, moving up to 5 weekly flights by July 2022.
Alongside this, the carrier has also announced that it will be operating 3 domestic routes from Darwin to Canberra, Cairns, and Townsville, all to be operated using Embraer E190.
Qantas is positive that, the latest announcement will boost employment opportunities and tourism in the region, as the carrier is recruiting 90 new pilots, cabin crew, and engineers.
As Qantas CEO Alan Joyce and Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner shared the stage to announce and unveil the first E190 in QantasLink livery at Darwin Airport, Mr. Joyce expressed by saying,
“New base would secure more travel options for territories with flow-on effects for the local economy. The E190 is a fantastic aircraft and the new routes and frequencies they have supported means that Darwin is better positioned to take advantage of the comeback of domestic tourism and business travel.”
He further said that “Basing these aircraft in Darwin means securing more jobs and a stronger local aviation industry.”
“As we prepare to welcome back international visitors, the E190s will make it easier to fly directly between Darwin and other popular tourist destinations including Alice Springs for central Australia, encouraging travelers to see more of Australia.”
Mr. Joyce further continued, “The E190 allows us to improve our schedule for North Territory travelers.”
“When we first introduced the E190 on our Darwin to Adelaide flights, we were able to double the number of flights we offered each day, giving customers more choice about when they travel. We look forward to providing this flexibility across other new and existing routes.”
In all, this is significant news for Darwin Airport, as it is for Qantas in such expansion out of the Northern Territory of Australia.