Published on 15th February 2022 at 9:55
  • Four Embraer E190 jets to be based in Darwin
  • More than 90 new NT-based aviation jobs created with recruitment underway
  • Darwin-Dili to become first QantasLink E190 international route

The Northern Territory is set for an employment and tourism boost with Qantas announcing plans to set up a new Embraer E190 jet base at Darwin airport.

At least four E190s will be based in Darwin to service key QantasLink routes across Australia, as well as a new international passenger service from Darwin to Dili.

The E190 jets feature both business and economy cabins with up to 97-seats and a five-hour range. They are being deployed on Qantas’ network 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 centres.

With support from the Northern Territory Government, basing the four aircraft in Darwin will bring an additional 90 jobs to the Territory, including pilots, cabin crew and engineers recruited by Alliance Airlines.

The size, range and economics of the aircraft have opened up more flights on existing routes as well as new routes that wouldn’t be viable with larger aircraft, including three new domestic routes from Darwin to Canberra, Cairns and Townsville.

Qantas has been operating weekly flights between Darwin and Dili since February 2021 in partnership with the Australian Government to maintain critical passenger and freight links with Timor-Leste. This service will now become a permanent commercial route with the E190 aircraft with three flights per week, ramping up to five flights each week from July.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce joined NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner to make the announcement and unveil the first E190 in QantasLink livery at Darwin Airport and said the new base would secure more travel options for Territorians with flow on effects for the local economy.

“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,” said Mr Joyce.

“Basing these aircraft in Darwin means securing more jobs and a stronger local aviation industry.

“As we prepare to welcome back international visitors, the E190s will make it easier to fly directly between Darwin and other popular tourist destinations including Alice Springs for central Australia, encouraging travellers to see more of Australia.

“The E190 allows us to improve our schedule for NT 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.”

All E190 aircraft activated as part of the deal with Alliance will progressively be painted in QantasLink livery.

The Qantas Group currently operates a total 18 routes from Darwin, Alice Springs and Ayers Rock Airports and connects Darwin directly to eight domestic destinations.

Qantas has also announced that it will extend the operation of its double daily Australia to London flights via Darwin until June.

International flights are subject to Government and Regulatory approval.

Alliance Airlines is actively recruiting. Visit for positions and more information.