What's with all the red-eyes ex DRW?

henrus

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Will be interesting to see where they put the 737's that are freed up from the E190's coming online for the SA-NT routes shortly.
My guess is NZ will gobble up some. In June the plan is to remove some A330's and replace them with 737's. This in addition to high demand for 737's on the rest of the domestic network (especially the east coast) means the 737's are unlikely to free for day time flights to Darwin.

- there also used to be the “milk run” ADL-ASP-DRW vv
That still exists and has been replaced by twice-daily milk runs using Alliance E190's operating as a wet lease for Qantas.

- it’s still a relatively small market in the scheme of things, so could run eg. one BNE-DRW on a 767 or 330 say 10 or 11am departure which allowed connection from SYD or MEL meaning no need to run one ex-Syd or ex-Mel
Whilst Darwin used to see 767's from Brisbane, Sydney and sometimes Melbourne but there were often empty seats.

Ironically they were adding 787's last year from Darwin to Sydney (one direction only) as they came in from Europe on the reparation flights. It didn't last long due to crew problems and also the concern of COVID spreading off that international plane on domestic routes.
 
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justinbrett

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Currently looking at Qantas flights from Darwin to the east coast (BNE/SYD/MEL) and most of the options given on the Qantas website now are flights departing between 1-2am. There are also a few day flights departing in the afternoon, but these are a lot more expensive on the dates I'm looking at.

I understand that back-of-the-clock flying is better for aircraft utilisation, but does anyone really want to fly at 1.30am? I'll most likely book with Virgin instead and fly at a reasonable time for a lower price...
This is completely normal pre covid service. I checked a few dates in June and it looks like all the pre covid day flights are there.

It’s always been very expensive to fly to Darwin in the dry season so those who want to save money take the red eye.
 

Seat0B

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Not many government employees flying at the moment may affect the frequency of daytime flights.
I used to fly Canberra-Darwin regularly as a Govt contractor in the late 2000 and was often put on the red eye which departed around 00:45 from memory. A big pain when you have to check out of hotel, work from 07:30 to 16:00 and then....hang around.

On one memorable occasion, the Defence booking clerk totally stuffed up my booking and put me on a flight at 00:45 on a Friday morning instead of Saturday. Getting home a nightmare. After that I insisted on an extra night accommodation and day flights.
 

SJF211

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Except for school holidays and long weekends in my experience, there is usually a moderate load, not packed usually but can still be quite full on ex DRW flights. I would imagine there may possibly be a case to run an A330 ex say Sydney or Melbourne to allow connections from say Hobart or Canberra but I believe that would be down solely to passenger numbers as QF runs their 767F from SYD-DRW-HKG a few times a week.
 

nancypants

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Honestly, I live in Darwin and really like them, pre Covid they connected quite nicely to various morning international departures. 4 hours sleep before heading to the airport, something to eat in the lounge, then another 3-4 hours sleep on the plane. Luxury! The fact they’re also often cheap is just an added bonus
 

Mattg

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Honestly, I live in Darwin and really like them, pre Covid they connected quite nicely to various morning international departures. 4 hours sleep before heading to the airport, something to eat in the lounge, then another 3-4 hours sleep on the plane. Luxury! The fact they’re also often cheap is just an added bonus

I'm jealous that you're able to get a full night's sleep on these! I wouldn't get any sleep before departure, then might get an hour of sleep on the flight if lucky.
 

wandering_fred

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When you live in the NT necessity becomes the mother of invention!
There are a number of professions (and temporary jobs - eg military service) where the ability to sleep at a moments notice and anywhere is a vital component?

I prefer red eyes to the crack of dawn flights...

Helps when wandering
Fred
 

Seat0B

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There are a number of professions (and temporary jobs - eg military service) where the ability to sleep at a moments notice and anywhere is a vital component?

I prefer red eyes to the crack of dawn flights...

Helps when wandering
Fred
totally agree. It's much better to stay up until 0 dark o'clock than have to get up at 0400 in my book. And being ex-military, I have developed a knack of sleeping wherever/whenever I can - with the one exception of early flights. I literally toss and turn all night, worry that the alarm won;t go off or that I'll sleep through it, that the taxi/uber won't turn up on time etc etc. So I prefer a red eye to an early morning any time. Overall though, I really just prefer to travel at civilised hours, if I have a choice.
 

kpc

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Decided to go to Darwin for 6 nights in August....fares on Qf are very expensive esp. If you want to avoid arriving in Drw from Sydney at 0050 and leaving Drw at 0150....think $850+ for Y return. Guess which flights had classic awards!? Called the Plat premium desk and had 2 return Syd-Drw award Y seats released in daytime hours!
 
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We booked SYD-DRW return for Aug/Sep on April 01 with the half price fares and were able to get the daytime flights both ways. It was originally listed as being 737-800 but this morning I received a flight change notification from QF advising that the SYD-DRW flight now departs at 0930 rather than 0830 and that the DRW-SYD flight departs at 1440 rather than 1320. Our seats had been changed and when I checked I saw that we are now on an A330-200. I had already put in an upgrade request for J so I don't know if there will now be a better chance of getting an upgrade with more J seats on the A330, although we are only Bronze.
 

Mattg

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We booked SYD-DRW return for Aug/Sep on April 01 with the half price fares and were able to get the daytime flights both ways. It was originally listed as being 737-800 but this morning I received a flight change notification from QF advising that the SYD-DRW flight now departs at 0930 rather than 0830 and that the DRW-SYD flight departs at 1440 rather than 1320. Our seats had been changed and when I checked I saw that we are now on an A330-200. I had already put in an upgrade request for J so I don't know if there will now be a better chance of getting an upgrade with more J seats on the A330, although we are only Bronze.

Interesting that Qantas is indeed now going to use A330s on flights to Darwin. That's good news.

Just a thought - have you checked to see if there are currently any Business Reward seats available now that the plane has been upgraded to an A330? If so, you could cancel your current request and place a new one - it would be approved instantly if there are reward seats available.
 

kpc

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Yes it is now a 330-200 Syd-Drw vv. We could book 25AB now in Y as Plat. There were no J awards on our dates even on request
 

Captain Halliday

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Excellent. My BNE-DRW in SEP is now an 332, but the onward sector to MEL remains 738. Can’t win em’ all.
 

TripleB

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Between 2012 and 2015 I did a DRW-east coast (but mostly SYD) redeye about 100 times.


The airport was always heaving between 11pm and 1am (with an hour shift in the summer). 4 JQ redeyes (Syd, bne, adl, mel) a QF redeye to Syd and a VA redeye to Bne and a JQ to Dps all leaving within about 90 minutes.

Before the terminal expansion was completed it was quite the squeeze.
 
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