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Connecting the Outback to the surf with new Airnorth service

April 3, 2019

Australia’s most popular holiday playground is now just a short flight away for those in the north, with new seasonal flights between Darwin, Townsville and the Gold Coast starting today.

Northern Territory-based airline Airnorth will operate the new service twice weekly on Wednesdays and Sundays from 3 April to 20 October 2019, re-connecting the Gold Coast to Darwin.

It also re-establishes a direct link between the Gold Coast and the North Queensland capital of Townsville.

The new service comes as international carrier Air New Zealand announced the retiming of its Gold Coast schedule from this week, making it easier for passengers to connect to the United States, via its Auckland hub.

Gold Coast Airport Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton welcomed the new Airnorth service, which had been well received in both the Darwin and Townsville markets.

“This service will provide quick and easy connectivity between the northern Australian ports of Darwin and Townsville and the Gold Coast,” she said.

“Forward bookings from the Darwin market, in particular, have already been strong.

“This will be a great link between some of Australia’s top tourism attractions in the Northern Territory’s Outback, the Great Barrier Reef and the Gold Coast’s beaches – what better way to see Australia?”

Airnorth will be welcomed to the Gold Coast with a water cannon heralding the aircraft’s arrival at the terminal. Passengers will be treated to a warm welcome as they board the plane in Townsville, with celebratory cake and a goodies bag from Destination Gold Coast.

Airnorth Chief Executive Officer Daniel Bowden will join passengers on the inaugural flight.

“The additional service means Airnorth is supporting Queensland by providing up to 25 flights weekly in, and around the state,” he said.

“Customers will experience a high quality, full-service carrier that includes smaller check-in queues, state-of-the-art jet aircraft, no middle seats and free 20kg checked luggage.”

The Airnorth service – introduced ahead of the busy Easter holiday period – will depart Darwin and travel to Townsville for a short 30-minute stopover before ongoing to the Gold Coast. It will then retrace its route on the same day.

Airfares from Darwin to Gold Coast will start at just $219.  

Airfares from Townsville to Gold Coast will start at $169.

A major ticketing sale will run from April 3 to 10, 2019 to mark the start of the service. Flight bookings include free 20kg checked luggage, complimentary refreshments and are also available under Qantas code share arrangements, allowing passengers to earn status and frequent flyer points.

Airnorth, which has been operating in Australia for 40 years, runs a modern fleet of E170 Embraer 76-seat jet aircraft.

Meanwhile, Air New Zealand is streamlining its schedule, making it easier for Gold Coast passengers to connect with domestic destinations in New Zealand, as well as to South and North American ports, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver and Buenos Aires. The airline will also boost capacity by 43 per cent during the July peak travel period, using its new widebody aircraft.

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