Qantas is introducing new service to Singapore, though it’ll look a bit different than the carrier’s other service to Asia…
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Qantas’ Darwin to Singapore route launches December 2024
As of December 9, 2024, Qantas will add a new nonstop flight between Darwin (DRW) and Singapore (SIN). This will initially operate 5x weekly, prior to increasing to daily as of March 2025. The route will operate with the following schedule:
QF353 Darwin to Singapore departing 6:05PM arriving 9:25PM
QF354 Singapore to Darwin departing 10:25PM arriving 4:45AM (+1 day)
The 2,075-mile flight is blocked at 4hr50min in each direction (Darwin is in one of those weird 30 minute timezones).
This service between the Northern Territory and Singapore represents a route resumption, as the airline last flew this route in 2006. Qantas will be going head-to-head against Singapore Airlines in this market, which operates the route using a Boeing 737 MAX 8.
This will be Qantas’ sixth route to Singapore, as the airline also flies there from Brisbane (BNE), London (LHR), Melbourne (MEL), Perth (PER), and Sydney (SYD). For customers traveling to and from Darwin, this will save them about five hours off the journey time to London, as they’ll no longer have to connect via another airport.
Here’s how Qantas International CEO Cam Wallace describes this new service:
“We’re thrilled to be offering our customers another new international route out of Darwin and strengthening the important trade, business and tourism links between Australia and Singapore.”
“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.”
“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 with the support of the Northern Territory Government and Darwin Airport.”
“As the national carrier, we’re committed to showcasing the best of Australia to visitors from around the globe. This new service makes it much easier for Qantas customers from the UK, Europe and across Asia to incorporate Darwin into their Australian itinerary and experience everything the Territory has to offer.”
This service will be operated by a QantasLink regional jet
Perhaps what’s most interesting about this new service is which plane will be operating the route. Qantas will operate its new Darwin to Singapore route using an Embraer E190 regional jet, belonging to subsidiary QantasLink.
The Embraer E190 is equipped with 94 seats, including 10 business class seats (in a 1-2 configuration) and 84 economy class seats (in a 2-2 configuration).
This new route is possible thanks to Qantas having recently established an E190 base at Darwin Airport, as the airline claims that the economics of this service wouldn’t work with a larger aircraft. This is Qantas’ second international route out of Darwin, after its service to Dili, Timor-Leste.
Suffice it to say that this is quite a small aircraft for such a long route, and this Qantas jet will look a bit different than the A330s, 787s, and A380s, that Qantas otherwise flies to the airport.
Actually, let’s take it a step further. As far as I know, this is the lowest capacity aircraft that’s currently scheduled to fly to Singapore Changi. Now, Singapore Airlines subsidiary Scoot will eventually fly E190-E2s to the airport, but those will be configured with 112 seats. But this is the only plane I know of with a capacity of under 100 passengers that’s scheduled to fly to the airport.
As of December 2024, Qantas will be launching a new route between Darwin and Singapore, adding yet another destination for the oneworld carrier at Changi, and facilitating easier connections to London and beyond. What makes this route most noteworthy is that it’s operated by a regional jet, so the plane will look mighty different than Qantas’ other aircraft at the airport.
What do you make of Qantas’ new Darwin to Singapore route?