The territory’s government has launched a $10 million fund which can be accessed by the region’s three major airports – Darwin, Alice Springs and Ayers Rock – as each looks to attract more flights to the NT.
A matched contribution from the grant applicant is a condition of the funding, meaning the full value of the investment is $20 million.
New air routes are eligible for funding as well as boosts to existing route capacity for flights to Alice Springs and Ayers Rock airports.
Greater air access to the NT both from elsewhere in Australia and internationally will be a boon for the business events sector, offering more opportunity to major venues like Darwin Convention Centre and likely increasing incentive activity in the Northern Territory, which already offers a strong incentive proposition.
“Accessible and affordable air services is a key priority for the Territory Labor Government, and this scheme ensures we have a seat at the negotiating table,” said the NT’s Chief Minister, Natasha Fyles.
“We’re working closely with airlines and airports to ensure Territorians are getting a fair deal, and today we’re going further.
“The best way to make sure airlines do the right thing by Territorians is to increase competition in the Territory.
“This new scheme allows the Northern Territory to better compete with other destinations when seeking to attract new aviation services and carriers, meaning more competition and lower airfares for Territorians – this is what we will continue to work on over the next two years with this scheme.”
The scheme also plays into a key priority for the NT’s 2030 tourism strategy, to develop ongoing aviation access to and within the region.
“Air access into the Northern Territory for domestic and international travellers is key to the recovery of the tourism industry and this initiative will greatly assist all NT tourism businesses return to growth,” said Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia CEO, Matthew Cameron-Smith. Voyages operates Ayers Rock Resort at Uluru.
“It’s great to see the NT Government on the front foot to help grow the visitor economy,” said Cameron-Smith.