Capiteq Pty Limited,[2] trading as Airnorth, is a regional airline[3] based at Darwin International Airport in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.[4] It operates scheduled and charter services in the Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, and East Timor.[5]

Airnorth carries over 300,000 passengers per year.[6]

Aircraft Logistics is a subsidiary company and the Part 145 Engineering division of Airnorth. Aircrew Logistics is a subsidiary company that employs the pilots and cabin crew for Airnorth.

Airnorth is a member of the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA).


Airnorth was established in 1978 and started operations on 4 July that year as Air North International; it was the result of the merger of Airnorth, Rossair and Tillair.[7]

It operated charter flights only until scheduled services were introduced in 1981. At this time, the airline's fleet included the first turbine powered aircraft in the Northern Territory, a Beechcraft Super King Air as well as a Douglas DC-3.[8] In 1992 the Skyport Group became a major shareholder and in 1993 was sold to Capiteq Ltd and renamed to Airnorth Regional.[7] During the 1990s, Airnorth had a well established regional network and by 1997 had introduced both Fairchild Metro 23 and Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia turboprop aircraft to the fleet.[8]

Beginning in September 1999, Airnorth operated charters from Darwin to Dili, East Timor, on behalf of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor. In 2000, this became a scheduled service, Airnorth's first international route.

In 2007, Airnorth introduced the Embraer ERJ-170 to its fleet, the first jet aircraft operated by the airline. In 2012, it announced a direct service between Darwin and Townsville, the first Australian airline to offer a non-stop connection between these cities.

On 5 February 2015, it was announced that Bristow Helicopters Australia Ltd., a division of the US-based Bristow Group, had acquired an 85 percent controlling interest in Airnorth.[9] Bristow stated that Airnorth would retain its name and brand identity.[10] Later in 2015 Bristow Helicopters Australia purchased the remaining shares to obtain full ownership.[6]

Under Bristow's ownership, Airnorth responded to a downturn in the mining industry, restructuring the route network by withdrawing services to Karratha, Port Hedland[11] and the Gold Coast.[12] A fifth ERJ-170 joined the fleet in 2016.[13] The increased availability of the jets allowed expansion into South East Queensland and Victoria, commencing operations between Wellcamp Airport near Toowoomba to Melbourne and Cairns from March 2016.[14] Within months the airline added further flights from Wellcamp to Townsville with all three new routes codesharing with Qantas.[15]

Bristow Group announced ongoing concerns regarding its financial position and its ability for future operations over the subsequent 12 months. In April 2019 a major shareholder was pushing for the board to be replaced and underperforming Airnorth and Eastern Airlines to be sold.[16]


The airline operates over 300 scheduled and contract charter departures weekly, serving 21 domestic and international destinations including:

In addition to scheduled flights, Airnorth operates charter services for a wide variety of companies including mining & resources, defence and government clients. [17] [18]


As of October 2019, the Airnorth fleet consists of the following aircraft:[19][20][21][22]

Airnorth Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
Embraer EMB-120 6 30
Embraer ERJ-170 4 76 1 currently stored
Embraer ERJ-190 2 94
Total 12 0

Incidents and accidents


  1. ^ "" Previously, flyers could credit flights to Qantas Frequent Flyer, but this partnership ended effective 1/5/2020.
  2. ^ "Australian Business Number results for Capiteq/Airnorth". November 2014.
  3. ^ "CASA website link to Airnorth's Air Operator Certificate". 2 September 2021.
  4. ^ "Contact us Archived 8 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine." Airnorth. Retrieved on 10 February 2011. "Administration 4 Lancaster Road, Marrara."
  5. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 27 March 2007. pp. 70–71.
  6. ^ a b "Corporate profile | Airnorth". Archived from the original on 25 April 2010.
  7. ^ a b "Airnorth". Airline History. Retrieved 4 July 2021.
  8. ^ a b "Airnorth Operates Sophisticated Regional Jets in Some of the World's Most Challenging Environments". Bristow Group. 18 June 2015.
  9. ^ Desloires, Vanessa; Thompson, Sarah (6 February 2015). "Bristow Group buys 85pc Airnorth stake". The Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  10. ^ "Bristow Helicopters Australia Acquires Controlling Interest In Airnorth" (Press release). Houston, Texas: Bristow Group. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  11. ^ "Airnorth axes Pilbara flights to the Kimberley and Darwin". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 19 April 2016.
  12. ^ Stevenson, A (14 April 2015). "Airnorth to stop Mount Isa-Gold Coast direct flights as mining downturn impacts". Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  13. ^ Butt, P (25 September 2016). "Airnorth expects new jet to prove popular with passengers". Northern Territory News.
  14. ^ "Airnorth begins Wellcamp operations". Australian Aviation. 14 March 2016.
  15. ^ "Airnorth expands from Wellcamp with new Townsville flights". Australian Aviation. 9 September 2016.
  16. ^ Huber, Mark (22 April 2019). "Shareholder Blasts Bristow's Board, Leaders". Aviation International News.
  17. ^ "Darwin direct | Townsville Bulletin News". Archived from the original on 17 April 2012.
  18. ^ "Destinations".
  19. ^ Australian civil aircraft register search, using "Capiteq" as the search parameter; search conducted 16 August 2022.
  20. ^ "Our Fleet". Airnorth.
  21. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2019 (Part One)". Airliner World: 4. October 2019.
  22. ^ Andrew Curran (2 February 2022). "Australia's Airnorth Adds 2 Embraer E190 Planes To Its Fleet". Simple Flying.
  23. ^ "Two pilots killed in Darwin plane crash". Northern Territory News. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2010.[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ "Media briefing: Aircraft accident at Darwin Airport". Australian Transport Safety Bureau. 22 March 2010. Archived from the original on 6 June 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2010.
  25. ^ "Two killed in plane crash at Darwin". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australian Associated Press. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2010.

Media related to Airnorth at Wikimedia Commons