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Michael Gunner

Chief Minister

Natasha Fyles

Minister for Tourism and Hospitality

Media Release

Kangaroo Route Extenson, Job Creating E190 Base Delivered in The Comeback Capital

15 February 2022

Direct daily flights between Darwin and London will continue to operate until at least the end of June after Qantas and the Territory Government reached an agreement to extend the route.

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.

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.

Meanwhile, the Territory Labor Government has also secured a partnership with Qantas to deliver a new Embraer 190 aircraft base in Darwin.

Up to 200 jobs are expected to be created under the 30 month agreement, including pilots, cabin crew and aircraft maintenance positions. The Territory Government will invest up to $3.6 million in training, marketing, promotion, as well as incentives to attract workers to be based here in the Territory.

In addition to the economic benefits of this deal, the E190 base will deliver better air access connectivity with new routes and increased flight frequencies.

Qantas has announced plans to launch E190 routes by the end of March this year including:

- Adelaide – Alice Springs - Darwin

- Canberra - Darwin

- Cairns – Darwin

- Townsville Darwin

Additional flight routes are expected later this year in line with consumer demand.

Quotes from Chief Minister Michael Gunner:

“This job-creating agreement will deliver significant economic benefits for the Northern Territory and backs up our reputation as the Comeback Capital.

“We are working in partnership with Qantas to deliver more jobs, cheaper fares and more flight routes for Territorians.”

Quotes from Health Minister Natasha Fyles

“We look forward to Qantas delivering more flights to the Territory, making it easier for visitors to experience our diverse tourism offerings and spend money right here.

“In addition to this E190 base, our working relationship with Qantas also delivered the exciting Darwin to London Kangaroo Route.

“Our management of the economy and this pandemic has positioned the Territory as a place where businesses like Qantas have confidence to invest in jobs and services.”

Quotes from Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce:

“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,” said Mr Joyce.

“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 travellers to see more of Australia.

“The E190 allows us to improve our schedule for NT travellers. 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.”

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