Qantas Adds Darwin To Singapore Flight… With Regional Jet

Qantas Adds Darwin To Singapore Flight… With Regional Jet

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Qantas is introducing new service to Singapore, though it’ll look a bit different than the carrier’s other service to Asia…

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.”

Qantas will fly from Darwin to Singapore

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.

This route will be operated by an Embraer E190

Bottom line

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?

Conversations (24)
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  1. LeMain Guest

    Someone needs to tell the Qantas guy that QF is not the ‘National carrier’ rather just the biggest commercial airline in the country.

  2. John Guest

    Unusual to see an E190 at SIN but surely not that remarkable a route otherwise. I took an Air Canada E190 regularly between SEA and YYZ, that’s quite a bit further!

  3. May Lim Guest

    Finally, as a OW member, I have been trying to fly KUL to Darwin without having to go all the way south to Sydney or Melbourne to connect. Also I need to go to Dili so it would be great

  4. John Guest

    SQ is eating QF's lunch all over northern Australia with flights to Cairns (which SQ will upgrade from a single aisle to a widebody aircraft this year), Darwin, and probably Townsville too. Meanwhile, poor old QF limps behind with high fares, low service and terrible connectivity. Joyce well and truly screwed up a once good airline (I won't go as far as saying QF was ever 'great') to become a mediocre airline.

  5. Leigh Gregory Guest

    Bring back the recently cancelled DRW to Sin Jetstar flight

  6. Srini R Guest

    Weird 30 minute time zones? In India it's done to keep just one zone for the whole country.. nothing weird about it...grew up with it most of my life.

  7. Ripty Guest

    Just wanted to point out that this won't be the smallest aircraft flying to Changi as Firefly regularly schedules their ATR 72s on the Penang-Singapore route in non-peak season.

    1. Victor Yoon Guest

      Not anymore... all FY ATR flights now operate out of Seletar Airport

  8. Gareth Guest

    How's that proposed Qantas Jakarta Perth flight coming along that was also promised?

  9. Chris W Guest

    As others have said, Qantas are going to have a tough time convincing people to choose this over SQ, and I doubt Qantas will be cheaper.

    I wonder why they didn't launch it with Jetstar rather than QF Link?

  10. S00 Guest

    E90 is not a regional jet in the North America, all of E90 in North America was operated by mainline airlines not regional airlines.

    1. David Guest

      Right, but it's right there in the name: Embraer Regional Jet. AKA ERJ-190. The scope clause in pilots' contracts making them mainline didn't change that.

    2. Justin Guest

      Actually it's not in the ERJ family. It's in the "E-Jet" family. There's nothing regional about it other than it being a stretched version of the E-170/175 which typically operates with regional carriers.

  11. Morgan Diamond

    I don’t know who in their right mind would choose a QF regional jet (economy and or business) over an SQ 737 which has lie flat beds, seatback entertainment and wifi all of which QF doesn’t. And while QF does fly to LHR as does Singapore and a vast array of places in Europe.

    Additionally I can’t imagine QF will be cheaper than SQ and even if they are it won’t be significant.

    The only...

    I don’t know who in their right mind would choose a QF regional jet (economy and or business) over an SQ 737 which has lie flat beds, seatback entertainment and wifi all of which QF doesn’t. And while QF does fly to LHR as does Singapore and a vast array of places in Europe.

    Additionally I can’t imagine QF will be cheaper than SQ and even if they are it won’t be significant.

    The only thing I can of is that QF are hoping lots of ‘loyal’ frequent flyers will pick QF due to status etc. But Qantas loyalty is at an all time low in Australia currently.

    Does the E190 even have even space to have enough meals for everyone?

    1. Grey Diamond

      'I don’t know who in their right mind would choose a QF regional jet (economy and or business) over an SQ 737 which has lie flat beds, seatback entertainment and wifi'

      Well, most people fly in economy. And most people do not pay for wi-fi. Therefore, the only difference for most passengers is the entertainment, and a lot of people are content to use their phones or computers for that. Personally, if I was flying...

      'I don’t know who in their right mind would choose a QF regional jet (economy and or business) over an SQ 737 which has lie flat beds, seatback entertainment and wifi'

      Well, most people fly in economy. And most people do not pay for wi-fi. Therefore, the only difference for most passengers is the entertainment, and a lot of people are content to use their phones or computers for that. Personally, if I was flying a 4 hour flight, I would value miles and frequent flyer benefits well over inflight entertainment. And even in business class, I am hardly sleeping on a 4 hour flight, so while nice, is hardly a necessity.

    2. UncleRonnie Member

      Yup. 4 hours flying north direct to Singapore is much better than a round trip via Sydney and you look out the window 9 hours later..... and you're just flying over your own house in downtown Darwin.

    3. JW Guest

      Wi-fi is free on Singapore Airlines, that’s another push factor for businesses to fly their employees in that direction

    4. RichM Diamond

      "I don’t know who in their right mind would choose a QF regional jet (economy and or business) over an SQ 737"

      In economy, the QF regional jet has 2-2 seating, whereas the SQ 737 has 3-3. So QF may be preferable based on the lack of any of the dreaded middle seats.

      Also, the schedules are quite different - SQ fly SIN to DRW during the day, whereas Qantas are flying overnight, which may suit some travellers better.

  12. Steven Guest

    It’s interesting that SQ can make a 737 Max aircraft work but QF (Alliance airlines) can only manage to operate a 94 seat jet with zero inflight entertainment and zero wifi with a 2 F/A operation - it’s bewildering - I can only imagine the fares and good luck trying to snag any decent award redemptions- QF has also dropped to 45th in the country of “trusted” companies dropping from number 1,- this is going to be a very steep hill to climb

    1. Duck Ling Guest

      I guess SQ is offering onward collections from Darwin to ‘the world’ via its extensive network in SIN. The only onward feed QF will have ex SIN using its own metal is LHR.

    2. James Guest

      Because Singapore is Singapore Airlines' hub so it has more connections and so more passengers than Qantas.

  13. Duck Ling Guest

    Despite being the ‘capital city’ of the Northern Territory Darwin is really an isolated, remote town with a population of 130,000 give or take.

    Qantas only recently established the QatasLink Darwin base so I guess they’re looking at creative options of how best to use their regional aircraft.

    I’d say the main rationale of the flight is to funnel the small amount of passengers onto the QF1 flight that flies daily Sydney to...

    Despite being the ‘capital city’ of the Northern Territory Darwin is really an isolated, remote town with a population of 130,000 give or take.

    Qantas only recently established the QatasLink Darwin base so I guess they’re looking at creative options of how best to use their regional aircraft.

    I’d say the main rationale of the flight is to funnel the small amount of passengers onto the QF1 flight that flies daily Sydney to London via Singapore.

    The lack of any of the big gulf carriers as well as all the Asian legacies flying to Darwin (apart from SQ I think) would also be an added incentive.

    1. David Guest

      Can they sell a ticket to include SIN-LHR though?

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Ripty Guest

Just wanted to point out that this won't be the smallest aircraft flying to Changi as Firefly regularly schedules their ATR 72s on the Penang-Singapore route in non-peak season.

1
Justin Guest

Actually it's not in the ERJ family. It's in the "E-Jet" family. There's nothing regional about it other than it being a stretched version of the E-170/175 which typically operates with regional carriers.

1
David Guest

Right, but it's right there in the name: Embraer Regional Jet. AKA ERJ-190. The scope clause in pilots' contracts making them mainline didn't change that.

1
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