QANTAS intends to launch a new international route connecting Darwin and Singapore.

The direct flights would begin in December 2024, and speed up journeys between the Northern Territory and London.

The NT Department of Treasury and Finance notes major Asian economies including Singapore are some of the state’s biggest trading partners.

In the year to November 2023, Singapore was its third largest import market, with a value of $296 million that year.

Qantas International CEO Cam Wallace said the Singapore service was a welcome addition to the airline’s international network out of Darwin.

“We’re thrilled to be offering our customers another new international route out of Darwin and strengthening the important trade, business and tourism links between Australia and Singapore,” he said.

“The direct service is not just great news for Territorians wanting to visit Singapore, but also for those travelling to London, Europe and across Southeast Asia, with connections to popular destinations like Phuket and Kuala Lumpur with our partner airlines, saving hours of travel time.

“This new route also allows us to restore the link to the UK which was established when international borders first reopened after the pandemic and we temporarily re-routed our London flight via Darwin with the support of the Northern Territory Government and Darwin Airport.”

NT minister for tourism and hospitality Joel Bowden said the announcement of a new service was a milestone for Darwin’s aviation capacity.

“The new flights will benefit locals wanting to travel overseas and also connect our ever-growing cohort of business travellers with international markets,” he said.

From 9 December 2024, flights will initially operate five days per week with the dual-class Embraer E190 aircraft, increasing to daily from March 2025.