Corporate profile

HistoryAirnorth History

Airnorth commenced operations in 1978, initially providing aircraft charter services.  Following steady growth in the following years, the airline commenced regular public transport [RPT] air services throughout the Northern Territory and by the late 1980’s Airnorth had established itself as the major aircraft operator in the Top End.

In 1993, the Skyport Group became a major shareholder of the business (and Capiteq Limited was formed). The Airnorth expansion continued to encompass the entire Northern Territory, from Ayers Rock to Darwin. As the Airnorth fleet grew in size, so did the capacity of the aircraft it operated and in 2007, Airnorth introduced the first Embraer E170 jet into service. Airnorth now boasts the world’s most technically advanced regional jet as well as the youngest regional jet fleet in Australia.

In 2015, Bristow Helicopters Australia Pty Ltd acquired Airnorth. This investment enabled Airnorth to extend existing operations beyond fixed wing to include rotary wing, further enhancing the airline's capabilities to offer clients a full service point-to-point logistics solution, strengthening their operational position in Australia.


Airnorth today

Airnorth is now the major aviation operator in Northern Australia. The company operates over 300 scheduled RPT and charter departures weekly, servicing over 20 destinations across four countries. Including Darwin, Maningrida, Milingimbi, Elcho Island, Gove [Nhulunbuy], Groote Eylandt and McArthur River in the Northern Territory, Kununurra, Broome, Port Hedland and Perth in Western Australia, Townsville, Cairns and Mount Isa in Queensland and Dili in Timor-Leste. See our route map for full details.

Airnorth carries in excess of 300,000 passengers annually.

In addition to scheduled departures, Airnorth operates contract and ad-hoc charter services for a wide variety of companies undertaking mining, defence and government activity.

Safety checks

Airnorth directly employs more than 200 staff in Darwin and provides indirect employment through the contracting of ground service operations across all its destinations.

Airnorth has formed a corporate alliance with Qantas Airways which includes the hosting of all flights in the Amadeus global distribution system, inclusion in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, electronic ticketing and baggage checks as well as joint marketing activities.

Airnorth vision

The overriding goal of the group is to achieve sustainable profits and consistent growth through improving operational performance without compromising safety.


Airnorth Engineering

The Capiteq Group holds an Air Operators Certificate [AOC No BN518845-49] issued by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority [CASA] and maintains operational standards of safety compliance equivalent to major airlines.

The Group also has a commitment to ensure maintenance performed on aircraft and aircraft components under Certificate of Approval [COA 4068] issued by CASA, meets the highest standards of airworthiness, quality, reliability and safety.

Safety Management maintains a pro-active approach to safety in all company departments through the Safety Advisory Group.


Aircraft Logistics is the engineering division of the Capiteq Group.  Based at Darwin International Airport, Aircraft Logistics occupies the largest hangar on the airfield and employs over 40 full-time and contract staff. This purpose-built hangar is 3,700 square metres and is capable of accommodating most of Airnorth fleet simultaneously.

In addition to Airnorth activity in Darwin, Aircraft Logistics provides ongoing assistance and logistical support to other operators within the region.

Corporate structure

Airnorth office

Airnorth is an unlisted public company, independently audited since 1993.

Bristow Helicopters Australia Pty Ltd is the sole shareholder of Airnorth.

Directors include Daniel Bowden [Chief Executive Officer], Alan Corbett [Director], Michael Bridge [Director] and Dawn James [Company Secretary].

Corporate governance includes scheduled board meetings, strategic planning and risk management [bi-annual], workshops, formalised budgeting and numerous financial controls overseen by the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee.

Risk management systems and procedures [including safety management, occupational health and safety, security, government and international relations, document control and internal auditing] are overseen by the Compliance Department.

Key managers have major airline and/or related industry experience.

The future

In recent years Airnorth has experienced significant growth, capitalising on its knowledge of its markets and strong presence in remote and international operations. 

Airnorth’s revenue diversity from jet/turbo-prop/contract and regular public transport operations allows for 24 hours interchange and flexible fleet utilisation, supported by well established and robust financial systems and controls.