Qantas will restart direct flights between Singapore and Darwin after an 18-year hiatus, deploying the Embraer E190 on the route from December. 

The Australian carrier will operate five times weekly between the two cities from 9 December, before increasing frequencies to daily flights from March 2025. 


Source: Wikimedia Commons

Singapore is Qantas’s second international destination served by the E190, with Timor Leste capital Dili being the first in 2022. The Oneworld carrier last operated to Singapore from Darwin in 2006, and had been connecting the two cities since the 1930s. 

The E190s, which are configured with 97 seats in two classes, are being deployed as part of an operating agreement between Qantas and regional operator Alliance Airlines. 

Separately, Chinese operator Hainan Airlines has launched new flights between Haikou and Ho Chi Minh city. The twice-weekly Haikou-Ho Chi Minh city flights began operations on 15 January, with Hainan deploying its Boeing 737-800s on the route. 

In a statement accompanying the launch, Hainan says the operation “will play a positive role in promoting the economic development” of the two countries. The airline adds that it is looking to build up its international network from Haikou. It currently flies to cities like Singapore, Bangkok and Sydney from Haikou. 

Hainan Airlines 737

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Hainan will also resume seasonal flights between Beijing and Edinburgh, with twice-weekly operations to commence on 17 May. The carrier will ramp up to four weekly flights between June and September, before it suspends the route in end-October. 

Edinburgh is the second point in the UK served by Hainan from Beijing. The airline also operates thrice-weekly flights to Manchester from the Chinese capital. 

Low-cost operator AirAsia is also set to expand its China operations, with thrice-weekly flights between the eastern Malaysia city of Kota Kinabalu and Shanghai. 

The service launches 20 February and comes on the back of Malaysia’s easing of visa requirements for Chinese tourists. Shanghai is Kota Kinabalu’s first Mainland China link for AirAsia – the airline also serves Taipei, Singapore and Hong Kong from the city. 

Other low-cost operators across Asia-Pacific have disclosed route launches in the new year.

IndiGo will launch daily flights between Hyderabad and Bangkok from 26 February, becoming the first Indian operator to link the two cities. 

Hyderabad is the also the latest in a growing list of Indian cities with IndiGo flights to Bangkok: the low-cost operator has flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Bhubaneswar to the Thai capital. 

Compatriot Air India Express, meanwhile, will launch flights between Hyderabad and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. The thrice-weekly flights will commence 2 February, and adds to newly-launched operations between Hyderabad and Dammam.