Qantas officially flew the first of its regular passenger flights from Darwin to East Timor’s capital Dili on March 30, 2022.
The Australian carrier said in a statement that it will operate three flights a week to Dili with the dual class E190 aircraft. By July 2022, the airline said it plans to increase the flights to five times weekly.
Qantas is operating the E190 aircraft as part of a three-year deal with Alliance Airlines to ramp up domestic flights and increase connections and schedules between smaller capital cities and regional centers.
Qantas says that the E90’s size, range and economics have opened up a number of routes from Darwin that wouldn’t be viable with larger aircraft.
Dili is Qantas’ first new ongoing international destination from Darwin since 2008 and Qantas’ first international E190 route.
“We’re excited to be officially adding Dili to our route map today and helping to build the incredibly important links between Australia and one of our closest neighbors,”QantasLink Chief Operating Officer Petrea Bradford, who traveled in the inaugural flight, said in a statement.
“Dili is just over an hour’s flight from Darwin and is a great destination for the adventurous traveler, with incredible natural beauty, unique cultural experiences and great coffee and cuisine,” Bradford adds.
“We look forward to working to promote Timor-Leste and all it has to offer to millions of our frequent flyers.”
During the pandemic, Qantas temporarily operated weekly flights between Darwin and Dili in partnership with the Australian Government to maintain critical passenger and freight links while international borders were closed.