ROUTES | Qantas Launches Direct Flights from Darwin to Singapore, Enhancing Global Connectivity

Qantas, the Australian airline, has unveiled its newest international route, offering direct flights from Darwin International Airport (DRW) in the Northern Territory to Singapore Changi Airport (SIN). The service is set to begin in December 2024, initially operating five days a week, with plans to expand to daily flights by March 2025. The Embraer E190 aircraft, part of Qantas' dual-class fleet, will be used for this route.


The establishment of the E190 base at Darwin Airport in 2022 enabled Qantas to launch this route. The base facilitated the airline's reach to destinations that were previously inaccessible with larger aircraft, such as the service from Darwin to Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste or East Timor. Singapore will serve as Qantas' second international link from Darwin and will also provide a connection to London via QF1 flights, as well as to other destinations in Europe and Asia. Qantas stated that passengers traveling from Darwin could save approximately five hours of flight time to London and other destinations in Asia or Europe by avoiding transit through other Australian capital cities.


Cam Wallace, Qantas International CEO, expressed in a press statement that the direct service is beneficial not only for those in the Northern Territory wishing to travel to Singapore, but also for those heading to London, Europe, and Southeast Asia. The service offers connections to popular destinations such as Phuket and Kuala Lumpur via partner airlines, significantly reducing travel time. Wallace added that the new route allows the restoration of the UK link, which was established when international borders reopened post-pandemic and the London flight was temporarily rerouted via Darwin with the support of the Northern Territory Government and Darwin Airport.

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The Darwin-Singapore connection holds a significant place in Qantas' aviation history. In 1935, Qantas launched the Kangaroo route, a commercial passenger air route between Australia and the UK via the Eastern Hemisphere, using a De Havilland 86. Darwin was the last stop in Australia before proceeding to Singapore and London. Back then, the journey from Darwin to Singapore involved five stops and took four and a half days, a stark contrast to the current flight time of four hours and 45 minutes on the 2024 route.

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