New Qantas Townsville-Darwin service boosts Northern Australia links

October 14, 2021

Qantas will begin flying from Townsville to Darwin for the first time in more than 20 years from the end of January, adding another domestic service to the growing Townsville Airport route map.

Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills welcomed the extra service, which would deliver 30,000 seats annually and expand another market for Townsville and the Northern Territory.

“This service will deliver more leisure travellers, particularly during the dry season, and for business travellers year-round,” he said.

The announcement of the new service follows the successful start of Qantas flights between Townsville and Adelaide last month.

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The Darwin service is the second of four new E190 aircraft routes through Townsville Airport announced by Qantas earlier this year, with Sydney and Melbourne services expected to commence after state borders re-open.

Mr Mills said the new service was particularly welcome when passenger numbers continued to be significantly impacted by travel restrictions – having major knock-on effects for North Queensland tourism operators.

Last month 86,385 passengers were welcomed through Townsville Airport, which was about 40 per cent down on pre-COVID-19 passenger numbers when Townsville was the 11th busiest airport in Australia and recorded 1.6 million passengers annually.

Work continues on the $15.5 million Townsville Airport terminal upgrades, which include the security screening zone and adjoining retail space, along with water and sewer works. The works will accommodate security screening equipment, improve passenger facilitation and the customer experience, while also setting the airport up for continued future improvements when they are completed next year.