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For the Canadian airline, see Air North.
Airnorth logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1978
Hubs Darwin International Airport
Focus cities Broome International Airport, Gove Airport, Perth Airport
Frequent-flyer program Qantas Frequent Flyer
Airport lounge Qantas Club
Fleet size 12
Destinations 23
Headquarters Darwin International Airport
Key people Michael Bridge (CEO)

Capiteq Limited,[1] trading as Airnorth, is a regional airline[2] based on the property of Darwin International Airport in Marrara, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.[3] It operates scheduled and charter services in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia, with an extension to East Timor. Its main base is Darwin International Airport, with a hub at Maningrida Airport.[4]


The airline was established in 1978 and started operations on 4 July that year. It operated charter flights only until scheduled services were introduced in 1981. It was formerly known as Air North International. In October 2003 Airnorth acquired the assets of Airlines of South Australia (ASA) with the intention of gradually merging the two companies and operating under Airnorth's Air Operator's Certificate. In March 2004 Airnorth acquired the assets of Emu Airways, but in 2005 sold off both ASA and Emu. Airnorth is owned by Skyport Group (55%), QTEC (31%) and John Gamble (14%).[4] On 9 November 2005, ASA and Emu Airways ceased operations.

Airnorth is part of a new coalition of regional air services in Australia, RegionalLink Airlines, put together by Darwin-based aviation services company Capiteq Limited. This is Australia's first airline franchise operation. All of the participating airlines will continue to trade in their local markets under their own names, the logos of which will be featured on the fuselages of aircraft within the group.

In May 2004 Airnorth signed a contract with Indonesian operator Merpati Nusantara Airlines to provide services between Darwin and Kupang in West Timor using Embraer Brasilia aircraft.

On 5 February 2015, it was announced that Bristow Helicopters Australia Ltd., a division of the U.S. based Bristow Group, had acquired an 85 percent controlling interest in Airnorth[5] Bristow stated that Airnorth will retain its name and brand identity.[6]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

Airnorth (VH-ANB) Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia at Darwin International Airport during the dry season.
  • On 22 March 2010, two Airnorth crew members were killed while conducting routine ongoing training, when one of its 30-seater Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia aircraft (registration; VH-ANB) crashed into bushland near the RAAF Base Darwin golf course, shortly after take off from the main runway at Darwin International Airport approximately 10:10 (ACST).[7][8][9]


Airnorth VH-ANA Fairchild Metro 23 at Kununurra Airport

The airline operates over 185 departures weekly, serving 23 destinations in the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Queensland and Timor-Leste including:

  • International scheduled destinations: Dili (East Timor). Charter: Kupang (Indonesia) and Manila (Philippines).[11]


As of February 2015 the Airnorth fleet consists of the following aircraft:[12]

Airnorth Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers
Embraer 170 4 0 76
Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia 5 0 30
Fairchild Metro 23 3 0 19

On 9 July 2008, Airnorth announced that it had acquired and operate its second Embraer 170 through a Lease/Purchase contract with Jetscape; it was the first Embraer 170-AR (Advanced Range) to be built and was delivered to Airnorth from the Embraer factory in April 2009.[13][14] A third E-170 formerly operated by defunct SkyAirWorld was added to the fleet in April 2010.[15]


  1. ^ ABNLookup – Current details for 24 008 137 559
  2. ^ CASA website link to Airnorth Air Operator Certificate retrieved 8 May 2011.
  3. ^ "Contact us." Airnorth. Retrieved on 10 February 2011. "Administration 4 Lancaster Road MARRARA."
  4. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-03-27. pp. 70–71. 
  5. ^ Desloires, Vanessa; Thompson, Sarah (6 February 2015). "Bristow Group buys 85pc Airnorth stake". The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney). Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "Bristow Helicopters Australia Acquires Controlling Interest In Airnorth" (Press release). Houston, Texas: Bristow Group. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  7. ^ "Two pilots killed in Darwin plane crash". Northern Territory News. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  8. ^ "Media briefing: Aircraft accident at Darwin Airport". Australian Transport Safety Bureau. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  9. ^ "Two killed in plane crash at Darwin". Australian Associated Press (Sydney Morning Herald). 22 March 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Airnorth acquires its second E170 jet". Airnorth. 2008-07-09. Retrieved 2008-09-10. 
  14. ^ Bourchier, Daniel (2009-04-20). "Airnorth considers return of Darwin to Bali flight". Northern Territory News. Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  15. ^ Australian civil aircraft register search, using "Capiteq" as the search parameter. Search conducted 12 February 2015.

External links[edit]