The Qantas Group is basing at least four E190s in Darwin. The aircraft will serve domestic QantasLink routes across Australia and fly to the carrier’s first international destination, Dili in East Timor. bThe interiors of the E190s are in Qantas colours and have up to 97 seats in dual class configuration. The first E190 flew from Brisbane to Darwin on February 14 in time for a next-day local media event attended by Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce and Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner.
The aircraft are operated by Alliance Airlines which has a three-year agreement to operate 10 E190s for the Qantas Group as part of an initiative to increase connections and schedules between smaller capital cities and regional centres.
The E190’s 5-hour range allow Qantas to add more frequencies on existing routes and add new nonstops in markets that aren’t viable with larger aircraft. Among the new E190 services will be nonstops between Darwin and Canberra, Cairns, and Townsville. They will also be used to provide permanent, year-round flights to Dili, an important passenger and cargo route.
Mr. Joyce said “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. The E190s will make it easier to fly directly between Darwin and other popular tourist destinations, including Alice Springs.”
The E190s have already been improving regional connectivity since they stared flying with Alliance Airlines. According to Mr. Joyce, “the E190 allows us to improve our schedule for Northern Territory 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.”