DARWIN, AAP – Qantas will continue to use Darwin as the departure point for its direct flights to London amid ongoing uncertainty on when Western Australia will lift its COVID-19 border restrictions.

When international travel resumed in November last year, the airline temporarily re-routed its Perth to London service through the Territory capital.

The Perth service was scheduled to return in April, but with the WA government yet to confirm a reopening date for the state, Qantas says it will continue to operate out of Darwin until at least June this year.

The Sydney to London service will also transit through Darwin instead of Singapore.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the extension to the Darwin service provided the Territory with an opportunity to capitalise on pent-up international inbound travel demand.

“This extension through to at least mid-June means the Top End has several months to properly leverage the opening up of Australia’s borders to all tourists,” Mr Joyce said in a statement on Tuesday.

“It’s a great opportunity to encourage thousands of visitors to stop off in Darwin to see what the NT has to offer.”