Newcastle services ready to take flight

The Hunter Valley and Port Stephens are now just a flight away from Cairns with new services to New South Wales’ second largest city ready for take-off starting in June.

The new tri-weekly services are the result of the collaborative efforts of Tourism Tropical North Queensland, Tourism Events Queensland, Newcastle Airport, Cairns Airport and Jetstar and the new service is a first for Cairns.

Cairns Airport Head of Aviation Garry Porter said the new direct route was another great opportunity to expand connectivity into the region and would offer locals the opportunity to visit Australia’s 6th largest city and one of the country’s premier wine regions.

“The Newcastle and Hunter region has a population in excess of 1.2 million people and this second gateway from NSW to the Tropical North makes it even easier for more regional visitors from NSW to visit Tropical North Queensland.”

“The new service provides opportunities for business travellers to come to Cairns and the Queensland Government support has enabled us to grow connectivity, improving accessibility for the many people we know want to visit this region”, Mr Porter said.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chief Executive Officer Mark Olsen said the regional New South Wales market had the potential to grow with the Newcastle route.

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

“Direct access 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.”

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the new service would be another tremendous boost for the Far North.“The Hunter just got a little bit closer to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef,” Mr Healy said.

“We know regular flights are crucial for bringing visitors to Cairns.

“It means residents of New South Wales’ second biggest city will, for the first time, be able to get on a direct flight for a great holiday in the Far North’s tropical sun.

“More visitors benefits the entire region from accommodation providers, to restaurants, cafes, and the operators of tourism experiences to the reef, Green Island and World Heritage-listed rain forests.”

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Jetstar service to Cairns was perfectly timed.

“In just over two and half hours, Novacastrians can be exploring the famous world-class holiday experiences the Tropical North has to offer,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“The direct Jetstar route from Newcastle will support local jobs and the Far North’s economic recovery from the global pandemic.

“If you’re dreaming of getting away, Cairns is the place to be for a memorable escape this winter.”