Northern Territory Government Newsroom

New Uluru-Darwin flights to Deliver Boost to Territory Tourism

The Territory Labor Government today welcomed news of a new Darwin-Uluru Qantas route from April next year, as well as discounted fares for Alice Springs residents travelling to Darwin from tomorrow.

Minister for Tourism and Culture Lauren Moss said the Territory tourism industry created jobs and economic development throughout our regions, with the Government turbocharging the sector with a $103 million stimulus program over two years.

Today’s announcement from Qantas was a continued vote of confidence in the NT and proof that the NT Government’s ongoing focus on attracting more holiday and business visitors to stimulate the economy was paying dividends.

The new twice per week Uluru route will connect the Rock with Darwin and Adelaide and will draw more people to Central Australia from Asia and Europe via Darwin, delivering a boost to both ends of the Territory.         

Research by the Department of Tourism and Culture earlier this year showed that 68% of travellers from Asia would consider taking a direct flight between Darwin and Uluru.

49% of interstate and international visitors to Uluru also spend at least one night in Alice Springs, so more flights into Uluru is good news for the whole of Central Australia.

Flights between Alice Springs and Darwin will also be upgraded to B737 aircraft rather than B717s, delivering up to an extra 1300 seats per week on the route, including business class.

The changes will come into effect from 31 March 2019, in time for the Easter school holidays. 

Alice Springs residents will receive discounted fares of at least 20% and up to 30% off flights to Darwin for personal travel, available from tomorrow.

Today’s positive announcements from Qantas will be offset by some service reductions on routes with low demand including between Perth-Darwin and Perth-Alice Springs and the cancellation of the direct Cairns-Alice Springs service.  Cairns-Darwin will be serviced by Jetstar.

Quotes from Minister for Tourism and Culture, Lauren Moss:

“The new route between Darwin and Uluru is another win under the Northern Territory Government’s record $103 million Turbocharging Tourism stimulus package to attract more holiday visitors, create local jobs and put more money into the pockets of Territorians".

“We have been advocating for some time for a direct Darwin-Uluru service because of its potential to deliver a significant tourism and jobs boost in both the Top End and Central Australia. It’s great to have Qantas respond to that call".

"The new service opens up potential for new tourist packages incorporating the Territory’s three key international tourism destinations: Uluru, Darwin and Alice Springs, meaning people will stay for longer in the Territory".

“New discounted fares for Alice Springs residents to Darwin will help to keep costs down and come on the back of the NT Government’s ongoing advocacy on behalf of Territorians about the affordability of airfares".

“Today’s announcement follows on from other new services that launched earlier this year including direct Donghai flights from China to Darwin, a new Jetstar service between Brisbane and Uluru and a Virgin service between Brisbane and Alice Springs".

“New flights means more visitors into the Territory, more local jobs and more money into the pockets of Territorians".

“While the reduction in some underperforming services is disappointing, we will continue to work closely with our airline partners, including Qantas, to strengthen the viability of existing routes and increase demand to establish new routes.”

“This is a great outcome for the Territory.”

Media Contact: Minister Moss media contact – Ellie Clancy – 0417 910 720