The Northern Territory is a large territory in the central and central northern regions of Australia. Tourists are drawn to the region to discover the ‘real outback’, including an iconic natural landscape, ancient Aboriginal culture, and unique wildlife.
Many tourists looking to explore the region will fly to Alice Springs, a remote town and popular gateway for exploring the ‘Red Centre’, the country's interior desert region. There are a few direct flights from the largest cities in Australia (Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth), but in many instances a connecting flight to Alice Springs will need to be made at Darwin.
If you’re looking for flights to some of the smaller and more remote towns and islands within the Northern Region, then you’ll want to land at Darwin, where you can then catch a flight with Airnorth or Air Tiwi — the only two airlines which operate scheduled passenger flights to the more remote communities within the territory.
Based at Darwin International Airport, Air Tiwi operates about 50 scheduled passenger flights a week, between Darwin and communities located on the Tiwi, South Goulburn and Croker islands, as well as a number of remote communities in the northern region of Arnhem Land.
Airnorth is an Australian regional airline. As well as operating flights to Australia’s other regions, Airnorth operates the most extensive list of flights to destinations in the Northern Territory. The airline flies to the following destinations within the Northern Territory: Alice Springs, Bootu Creek, Darwin, Elcho Island, Gove, Groote Eylandt, Katherine, Maningrida, McArthur River Mine, Milingimbi, Port Keats, Tennant Creek, and The Granites.
Qantas is one of the largest and most popular airlines in Australia. Within the Northern Territories, the airline operates the following (most popular) routes, Darwin to Alice Springs, Darwin to Ayers Rock, and Ayers Rock to Alice Springs. These flights may be operated by QantasLink, the regional subsidiary of the airline.
Like Qantas, Virgin Australia is one of the largest airlines in Australia. The airline operates the most popular route within the Northern Territory, flying between Darwin and Alice Springs. These flights may be operated by Virgin Australia Regional Airlines, the regional subsidiary of the airline.
You can use the table below to discover what airlines fly to the airports and airstrips within the Northern Territory. Air Tiwi and Airnorth operate the most flights. To some airports, only private charter flights are available.
|Alice Springs||Alice Springs Airport||ASP||Airnorth, QantasLink, Virgin Australia/Virgin Australia Regional Airlines|
|Angurugu||Groote Eylandt Airport||GTE||Airnorth|
|Borroloola||Borroloola Airport||BOX||Private charter only (Katherine Aviation)|
|Croker Island||Croker Island Airport||CKI||Fly Tiwi|
|Elcho Island||Elcho Island Airport||ELC||Airnorth and private charter (Marthakal Yolngu Airline)|
|Gapuwiyak||Lake Evella Airport||LEL||Fly Tiwi and private charter (Marthakal Yolngu Airline)|
|Katherine||RAAF Base Tindal||KTR||Airnorth and private charter (Katherine Aviation)|
|Lajamanu||Hooker Creek Airport||HOK||-|
|Maningrida||Maningrida Airport||MNG||Airnorth, Fly Tiwi|
|Marrara, Darwin||Darwin International Airport||DRW||Airnorth, Fly Tiwi, Qantas, Virgin Australia/Virgin Australia Regional Airlines. Private charter: Alliance Airlines|
|McArthur River zinc mine||McArthur River Mine Airport||MCV||Airnorth|
|Milikapiti, Melville Island||Snake Bay Airport||SNB||Fly Tiwi and private charter (Air Ngukurr)|
|Milingimbi Island||Milingimbi Airport||MGT||Airnorth|
|Pirlangimpi, Melville Island||Garden Point Airport||GPN||Fly Tiwi|
|Ramingining||Ramingining Airport||RAM||Fly Tiwi|
|Ranger Uranium Mine||Jabiru Airport||JAB||Private charter only (Kakadu Air )|
|Tennant Creek||Tennant Creek Airport||TCA||Airnorth|
|The Granites||The Granites Airport||Airnorth, Fly Tiwi and private charter (Alliance Air)|
|Wadeye||Port Keats Airfield||PKT||Private charter only (Murin Travel)|
|Wurrumiyanga||Bathurst Island Airport||BRT||Fly Tiwi|
|Yulara||Ayers Rock Airport||AYQ||QantasLink, Qantas|
Darwin International Airport is the largest airport in the Northern Territory, serving Darwin, the capital of the region.
Many of the tourists to the region will be heading to Alice Springs, the 'doorway to the outback'. If you want to fly to Alice springs, you can do so with a direct flight from elsewhere within Australia, you can do if you are departing from one of the largest cities in Australia, such as Melbourne, Perth, or Adelaide. If you're flying fro elsewhere, you might need to make a connection at Darwin.
If you want to experience Ayers Rock, you can fly direct from the largest cities in Australia, including Adelaide, Darwin, Brisbane and Perth, or by making a connection at Darwin.
Qantas (some flights operated by its subsidiary, QantasLink) flies to Darwin from Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney. It also flies direct to Alice Springs from Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney. The airline also flies direct to Ayers Rock from Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.
Jetstar flies to Darwin from Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne, and Sydney. It also flies to Ayers Rock from Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney.
Virgin Australia (some flights operated by its subsidiary, Virgin Australia Regional Airlines) flies to Darwin from Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney. It also flies to Alice Springs from Adelaide, Brisbane, and Darwin.
Darwin International Airport is the only international airport in the Northern Territories, located 5 miles from the city centre of Darwin, the capital of the region. Darwin Airport has an international terminal and a domestic terminal. The following international airlines fly to the airport:
Donghai Airlines: Shenzhen, China
Jetstar Asia Airways: Singapore
Virgin Australia: Denpasar, Bali (seasonal)