Is Qantas set to announce Darwin-Singapore flights?

A Qantas jet would reconnect the Top End with Singapore for the first time since 2006.

By David Flynn, December 12 2022
Is Qantas set to announce Darwin-Singapore flights?

Qantas may make a return to the Darwin-Singapore route next year, going head to head with incumbent Singapore Airlines.

According to the Aeroroutes website, which maintains a watchful eye on changes to airline schedules, Qantas is readying a daily Darwin-Singapore flight due to commence on Friday June 23, 2023:

  • QF353 is said to depart Darwin at 6.20pm, arriving into Singapore at 9.40pm
  • QF354 lists as leaving Singapore at 10.40pm, landing back in Darwin at 5am 

Aeroroutes claims the service is currently “subject to government approval and slated to open for reservation soon.”

The QantasLink Embraer E190.
The QantasLink Embraer E190.

Interestingly, the 4-5 hour dash will be flown not by a Qantas Boeing 737 but feature instead the nimble QantasLink Embraer E190, with 10 business class seats and 84 seats in economy.

Qantas has been approached by Executive Traveller for comment.

Singapore Airlines currently connects Darwin and Singapore three days a week with its single-aisle Boeing 737 MAX, which sports a fully lie-flat bed in business class, along with pre-ordered Book the Cook meals on the Singapore-Darwin leg.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1193

Seems like a good "back of clock" use for the E190.  The same crew will operate both ways so crew costs will be low.  It will be interesting to see if SQ responds by upgrading the MAX service to daily.

QFP

22 Jan 2013

Total posts 90

Is it likely the crew will do a 11 hour shift, from sign on to sign off. Hi risk if delays occur.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 318

Good news, the more direct connections from Northern Australia to Asia the better.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 886

Seems a bit crazy when you compare Apples to Oranges, I worked out of Darwin 5 days a week for 12 months and home to the East Coast for Saturday / Sunday. Really can't see it getting too many passengers unless they want to earn status credits and points. On price point, you could see all the over 60 single guys going for the weekend to Singapore.

TJS
TJS

14 Jun 2018

Total posts 12

Arival into SIN is likely to coincide with QF1 to LHR. hence that will dictate the evening flight time back to Aus.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1193

The flight is to offer a connection between DRW to SIN and enable DRW residents to connect on QF1 to LHR.  It is not designed as a connection for east coast pax who already have non-stop connections to SIN

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 148

Great news, if it's true. I get why QF would use the E190. But the evening departure timing [if it turns out to be confirmed] seems odd. Why not a day flight? Or at least an afternoon departure like SQ? I can't imagine too many pax stumbling off the return red-eye flight from Singapore to catch connections down to southern capitals that morning, because they can fly direct already. Without the rationale of connecting, the whole timing for this proposed flight seems odd to me.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1250

Plane utilisation.

19 Aug 2011

Total posts 24

But there is rationale for connecting - you need to look at connections at the Singapore end, particularly how you could connect to/from LHR. There's a rather long transit on the way back, but it's still doable.  Also, based on the timing, it looks like the flights also slot nicely in with the E190 flights to/from BNE. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Feb 2011

Total posts 11

The timings will connect to the QF1 SIN/LHR and also use an aircraft that would probably be sitting in DRW overnight

QFP

22 Jan 2013

Total posts 90

Then coming back, connecting with KNX, BRM, ASP ect.   

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2014

Total posts 462

Maybe they can offer some FF reward seats and then I can could book PER-DRW-SIN.  There is nothing being offered direct in the second half of next year (in Classic Rewards). 

More seriously, yes Qantas are apparently making use of an aircraft that would otherwise be idle overnight and timings do not really suit tourist travelers.  Consequently the ticket prices will reflect this, just as they do for PER to east coast red-eyes.   

Possibly new the flight will also provide the best connection to Singapore from Adelaide.   E190 flights QF1951/QF1952 (ADL-DRW)  align with the schedule for DRW-SIN

06 Sep 2018

Total posts 2

I've got a hunch they'll run it like this. As jetstar did with JQ83? I think it was? Tho there are e190s based in Darwin. Horrible timing to bo comming back through to Adelaide though...

Etihad - Etihad Guest

10 Apr 2019

Total posts 10

I’m sure there’s enough people to fill a 100 seat aircraft wanting to visit Singapore or connect to QF1 to make this a good idea. Hope it works out but would also hope they have streaming entertainment and USB ports by then. 

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 451

I suppose for Ex Adelaide people who would find this easier than the existing via Melbourne,Sydney or Perth options why not who are not keen on ADL immigration in and out this gives them an alternative to both Singapore Airlines and the other routings on Qantas.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Jan 2014

Total posts 31

It might be easier, but I'd still rather fly via Sydney or Melbourne to fly Premium Economy instead. 

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 386

Smart way to gain extra utilisation of an E190 compared to domestic regional flights. I think this is the sort of thing we will see a lot of for the Qantas Airbus A220 when that arrives, too.

20 Dec 2017

Total posts 17

Why does QF persist with only offering red-eye flights from Singapore into Australia? SIN-BNE, SYD-MEL and SIN-SYD are too short to sleep, even if you can fall asleep at the gate and sleep through being woken for breakfast two hours out. SYD-DRW clearly would be introduced for aircraft utilisation reasons, not for the customer experience. It's why I do Singapore Airlines when flying out of the east cost to Singapore and return. Day flight up, day flight back. No need for the stress. Bring back QF32 with a morning departure from Singapore.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 451

One thing I noticed in the old days was the old QF82 when that was a 8:50pm out of Singapore into Adelaide around 5am or 6am dependent on time of year(except for those few years when it went through Darwin when the schedules for those changed to a more arrival time civilised 9am or 10am)before it went into Sydney.I did the old QF10 twice in the past one of which was left Singapore at 7:45pm and thanks to the time difference arrived 4:45am the next day which wasn't too bad given we were getting fed Breakfast around 3am but as I was connecting onto Adelaide on a domestic flight at 7:10am it felt odd getting a second breakfast roughly partway over rural Victoria on the way home.SQ has it right for the most part It has a day flight up(great for connecting onwards for most of Asia but terrible for connections to Japan and Europe and the UK). I miss the days of SQ277 SIN-ADL which timing wise was the best connection home to avoid Overnights,these days to avoid that You fly a Day flight to Perth and connect with Singapore Airlines Partner Virgin Australia on the last flight of the day onto Adelaide that gets one in between 9:45pm and 10:30pm,not the best schedule in the world but what would you rather have being home in your own bed that night or flying through the night to get home even if it means missing out on a final days sightseeing and in some case shopping.


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