Newcastle flights ready for lift off

Cairns newest route is ready for lift-off tomorrow in a new tri-weekly service that will connect the Far North to Newcastle, New South Wales second largest city.

The Hunter and Newcastle region is one of the fastest growing centres in NSW and the new direct service will encourage more Novocastrians to visit the Far North.

Chief Operating Officer of Cairns Airport Garry Porter said the new service will support the connectivity of 16K additional visitors to Tropical North Queensland between now and October and offers an important opportunity to grow business and educational links between the regions.

“The Newcastle and Hunter region has a population more than 1.2 million and this second gateway will give Far Northerners an opportunity to tap into the incredible food and wine scene of the region without having to transit through a capital city.

“We’re continuing to see more demand for regional markets and on the back of the new Sunshine Coast flights and Canberra services we’re confident that this new service will support and grow visitation to Cairns from Novacastrians”, Mr Porter said.

The new tri-weekly service to Newcastle are thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland, Tropical Tourism North Queensland, Newcastle Airport, Cairns Airport and Jetstar.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chief Executive Officer Mark Olsen welcomed the flights which would help grow visitation from regional New South Wales to the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region.

“Before Covid-19 our region received 288,000 visitors from NSW a year with 194,000 of those from Sydney,” he said.

“Direct access is the key to attracting domestic visitors and having flights from the largest non-capital city in NSW will make a Cairns & Great Barrier Reef holiday a more attractive option to the people living in regional areas north of Sydney.”

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Jetstar service to Cairns would open up access from Newcastle for the first time. 

“Non-stop flights from the second biggest city in New South Wales means even more Novacastrians will be escaping to Cairns for tropical sunshine and some of the world’s best tourism experiences,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“These extra flights from Newcastle are expected to support 41 jobs and up to $5.2 million for the Palaszczuk Government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan in the Far North.

“And we know Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef are just the places to show Novacastrians an unforgettable, world-class holiday.”