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Darwin Will Remain the Home of Qantas’ Direct Flights to London Until at Least June

Darwin Will Remain the Home of Qantas’ Direct Flights to London Until at Least June

red and white airplanes with a white design on the tail

Qantas will continue to operate its double daily flights from Australia to London via Darwin until at least June after the Northern Territory government offered the airline additional funding to create a new regional base in the city.

The direct flight between Australia and London would normally operate via Perth but Qantas had to have a major rethink last September because of Western Australia’s closed borders and picked Darwin as an alternative refuelling stop.

Qantas has decided to lock in Darwin as its temporary home for London-bound flights despite WA Premier Mark McGowan announcing his intention to set a new border reopening date by the end of this month.

WA was meant to ease border restrictions in early February but McGowan reneged on his promise because he feared Omicron would sweep across the state and overwhelm the healthcare system.

With daily COVID-19 cases dropping in other parts of Australia but continuing to rise in WA, McGowan is now prepared to reassess the state’s hermit status. No date has yet been set and McGowan could break his promise yet again.

Qantas operates daily flights to London from both Sydney and Melbourne. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s used on the routes must refuel in Darwin to make it all the way to Europe with a full headcount of passengers.

Prior to the pandemic, Qantas also operated flights between Australia and Europe with a stopover in Singapore but these flights will also remain suspended until June as demand slowly returns.

With Australia set to open to foreign tourists within weeks, airlines are moving quickly to offer additional capacity. Emirates will soon fly its double-deck Airbus A380 double daily to Sydney while Etihad Airways is also making a return Down Under.

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