Malaysia Airlines to restart Darwin-KL flights in November

By David Flynn, July 15 2013
Malaysia Airlines to restart Darwin-KL flights in November

Malaysia Airlines will launch flights between Darwin and Kuala Lumpur on November 1st, marking a return to the NT capital over a decade since MAS pulled out of the top end in 2002.

The five-times weekly service will run on a Boeing 737-800 jet with business class and economy cabins, although these are more in line with what you’ll get on a domestic Qantas or Virgin Australia flight than full international-grade seating.

Flight MH252 will depart Darwin at 6am on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, reaching Kuala Lumpur at 9.20am that morning – so unless you have an onwards flight, be sure to request an early checkin at your KL hotel.

The return MH253 service leaves Kuala Lumpur at 10.35pm on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, to arrive at Darwin at 5.10am the next day.

“The Northern Territory now has greater international access than ever before,” said NT Airports CEO Ian Kew in welcoming MAS back to his boarding gates.

“Our current services connect travellers to Bali, Singapore, Manila and Dili, and we now welcome Malaysia Airlines and its major hub of Kuala Lumpur into our network.

2013 is shaping up to be a good year for Darwin with the launch of Philippine Airlines services in June and the resumption of flights by AirAsia Indonesia at the beginning of this month.

Darwin Airport’s $60m expansion project will see the terminal double its current size by mid-2014, along with increased handling capacity for international passengers.

Following MAS joining the oneworld airline alliance in February this year travellers on Malaysia Airlines can now earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points and use their QFF status to gain access to MAS’ First and Business lounges at KLIA. 

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Dec 2012

Total posts 66

Are there no Business Travellers that live in Darwin? I am surprised to not see a comment about this. I think this is welcomed news for DRW. 

They have long suffered from not having international full service carriers. Now they have GA, PR & MH. They already have the semi-service of MI and the budget carriers of JQ and AirAsia (not sure of the Airline for that one!).

DRW is starting to attract some major airlines now (as is CNS)... Now we just need QF to re-instate services from DRW & CNS (thus staying true to the Q & NT in their name!).


10 Sep 2011

Total posts 162

I cannot say how many "business" travellers pass through Darwin International who would be on this forum. Darwin is a branch office town. There is a lot of OS FIFO coming in from as far as India though, and this will be a boon to their employers when it comes to ease of booking.

For locals who travel LOTS, and we are cashed up here, this will be great. I wish I had known earlier - I have a JQ flight booked DRW-SIN to connect to MH SIN-KUL-NRT early in the new year on separate PNRs.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Jul 2013

Total posts 19

Well I am from Darwin. I do welcome this news of MH flying into Darwin. Also as been From Malayisa. this means less bunny hopping trying to get to KL. Remember the good old days when they used to fly A332 into Darwin, then onwards to CNS then after that to ADEL instead.

There are lots of Business Domestic Travellers to Darwin. I sat next a few who come up to darwin every two to three weeks. Business and Government. I am not too sure if there is many Business Travellers out of Darwin yet. Second of all Flying Bus Class out of darwin is not cheap current. It is AUD$3k return to singapore. for a 4.5 hour trip on MI. Compare to >AUD$1k on CZ from Manila to Guangzhou (3hours) in Business return. I do hope MH brings cheaper Bus Class seats to Darwin.

Since Qantas pulled out of Singapore to London flight, and MH joining OneWorld. I think this MH flight is to help Darwin people connect to London and beyond with a really goood connection of 1 hour in KLIA.

Talking about good connections. the 9am KL arrive time means that inter-asia traveller should not need to stay overnight at transit airport(like Singapore with JQ and some MI flights) which is the cost of a hotel. I can get to Guangzhou on MI by 2pm and i leave at 6am, the same day on MI. Which is a bonus..

I can see MH timing this really well with JQ Domestic Flights. MH arrive about 5am. After clearning Immi and cumstons. they can check in to flight other capital city for a 7-8pm departure. But i can't see why this would really benifit traveller, as it is cheaper to fly direct on MH to Final City.

Amjid. If i got you correct, GA(Garuda). They stop flying out of darwin couple of years ago. That was the last Full Serviced international airline out of darwin for a couple of years until MI fiew in.

Yes we need more Flights out of Darwin. But Darwin is Small compare to other Citys. so i don't know how long would flights last in darwin. Darwin pop of about 150K included outer catchment. Airport pass about 1.8Million passenager a year. It is big. i guess. But i would not mind having a Chinese Airline(CZ would be good) flight direct to Darwin. As we already have fortnightly Direct Container ship link from Guangzhou/HK


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Apr 2014

Total posts 19

They came, they left, they came, they left...I miss the A332 out of DRW...😔

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Nov 2011

Total posts 244

I think Malaysia needs to remove the number of seats to serve Australia. 

This bilateral agreement is disadvantaging KUL as transit hub compare to SIN, BKK and HKG.


10 Sep 2011

Total posts 162

David,any idea when these flights go on sale? DRW doesn't appear on the MH website

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jun 2013

Total posts 7

I send MH an email last week and their reply was

"In regards to your email, we have checked with the respective team and being informed, Darwin (DRW) together with Kochi (COK) and Dubai (DXB) sectors are targeted to be on our internet booking engine between 24-25 July 2013, subject to approval."

Although it is available to book through other sites, and they seem to have around $660 return fares at the moment, down from $1400+.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Malaysia Airlines to restart Darwin-KL flights in November