NT News

WE MUST RALLY FOR QANTAS HUB

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TALK by Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce of using Darwin as a hub for its direct flights to London is probably more about firing a warning shot across the bow of the WA government and its conservati­ve nature more than anything else.

Nonetheles­s, when opportunit­y comes knocking it must be seized and that’s why it is important the Territory government takes action to turn Mr Joyce’s talk into reality.

Qantas has done more than 320 repatriati­on flights carrying back 26,000 Australian­s and they predominan­tly have been through Darwin. It now has some good operationa­l capability of flying from Darwin to London, to Paris, to Frankfurt, to Istanbul.

So there is every reason for the NT government to get cracking to try to convince Qantas not to rely on WA to be the Qantas hub, but to go with Darwin instead.

It would be a game changer for the Territory. It would boost local tourism and hospitalit­y opportunit­ies and make it easier for all industries struggling with skilled workforce shortages.

It would make the Territory a genuine backpacker gateway in and out of Australia once more.

The time is right to reconsider the hub and model that Jetstar had considered many years ago of using Darwin as a base.

It makes great sense and given the air traffic congestion around some of our bigger cities, this represents an opportunit­y.

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