Qantas will continue to use Darwin as the transit point for its popular Kangaroo Route connecting Australia to London “at least until June 2022”, the airline said in a statement dated February 15, 2022.
According to the airline, the decision to extend the use of Darwin as its transit point for the Kangaroo Route was due to “uncertainty around the reopening of the West Australian border and testing requirements for passengers transiting through Singapore.”
Perth was Qantas’ original transit point for the Kangaroo route. When Australian borders reopened last November 2021, Western Australia remained closed so the airline rerouted the service via Darwin.
Qantas said that it worked closely with the Northern Territory Government to set up Darwin as an alternative hub, allowing passengers to arrive in or transit through the Northern Territory capital.
To streamline transit arrangements for passengers, Qantas will also continue to operate its Sydney to London flight via Darwin instead of through Singapore until June 2022.
“This extension through to at least mid-June means the Top End has several months to properly leverage the opening up of Australia’s borders to all tourists,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement.
“It’s a great opportunity to encourage thousands of visitors to stop off in Darwin to see what the NT has to offer.”
Shortly after the announcement, the Premier of Western Australia Mark McGowan announced that the state’s border will reopen sometime in February 2022.
“I can’t give you an exact answer [when], but clearly with our vaccination rates growing very significantly and the eastern states coming off the peak and children’s vaccination rates growing, and as case numbers climb here, we’ll reach an outcome at some time and we’ll make that announcement during this month,” McGowan told local media. This was also reported by ABC News.
AeroTime has contacted Qantas for a statement regarding Western Australia’s early border reopening and how it will affect the Kangaroo Route.