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QANTAS: adds Dili in Timor-Leste to its route map

QANTAS: adds Dili in Timor-Leste to its route map

Don’t expect to fly direct from the east coast of Australia though!

Essentially this is a deal with Alliance Airlines to provide a service between Darwin and Dili using a dual-class E190 aircraft, starting on 30 March with 3, but ramping up to 5 weekly return flights from July 2022.

Interestingly, this is Qantas’s first new ongoing international route from Darwin since 2008 and Qantas’ first international E190 route.

“Dili is just over an hour’s flight from Darwin and is a great destination for the adventurous traveller, with incredible natural beauty, unique cultural experiences and great coffee and cuisine.”

Petrea Bradford, QantasLink Chief Operating Officer

Over the last 2 years during the COVID pandemic, Qantas operated weekly flights on the Darwin / Dili route sponsored by the Australian Government thereby maintaining critical transport links while international borders were otherwise closed.

This ongoing passenger route is made possible by the new E190 base in Darwin. The Darwin-Dili flights make 3 new domestic routes from Darwin including Cairns and Townsville.


You are looking at around the AU$2,622 return in Business Class (AU$785 Economy) from Sydney for the most direct route with one stop in Darwin. If you are prepared for a longer (more interesting) routing, say via Brisbane or Adelaide, with some lengthy and overnight stopovers, then the fare will come down to AU$2,166 return in Business and AU$690 in Economy. Qantas effectively in partnership with Alliance have a monopoly on this route.

the tail of an airplane
Alliance Airlines

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

Visiting Timor-Leste has been on my travel itinerary since the 1980s when I became aware of Fretilin’s struggles for the island territories’ independence from Portugal, and the consequent invasion by Indonesia. The difficulty of travel and the lack of tourist infrastructure has been the inhibiting factors for travelling there. With those barriers largely removed, I hope to make it there soon.

TRANSPARENCY: The owners of this website have direct and/or indirect financial relationships with some or all of the companies named in this article. For further information, visit our Terms and Conditions.

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