Tourists from Tokyo Back in TNQ

Direct flights from Japan are finally landing back in Cairns and they signify one of the most important and exciting developments in Tropical North Queensland’s COVID recovery phase, industry leaders say.  

Jetstar is scheduled to operate year-round direct flights between Japan and Cairns eight times per week from today. The flight between Cairns and Tokyo this morning is particularly momentous, as it is the first Jetstar aircraft to leave Australia for Japan since March 2020.

Jetstar will operate five flights per week between Narita International Airport (Tokyo) and Cairns, and a further three flights between Kansai International Airport (Osaka) and Cairns will beginning operating as of next week. 

Cairns Airport Chief Operating Officer Garry Porter said the direct flights were a significant milestone in Tropical North Queensland’s international travel recovery.

“The Japanese market is incredibly important to our region, and the resumption of these Jetstar services is symbolic of how far our aviation and tourism industries have progressed since our COVID recovery phase began,” he said.

“During the pandemic, Cairns Airport and our industry partners maintained strong relationships with both airlines and international destinations, and we are now seeing the flow-on benefits from those efforts.”

“We know Tropical North Queensland is a highly sought-after destination for visitors from Japan and we expect to see a welcome injection of tourists due to these flights, and as confidence around international travel continues to grow.”

“We also know that local Far North residents will be looking forward to once again visiting Japan’s many spectacular attractions, and these flights provide lots of great options.”

Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chief Executive Officer Mark Olsen said the region’s operators were looking forward to the return of the key Japanese market which had delivered 110,000 visitors in the year before the pandemic.

“Our two World Heritage areas, Indigenous culture and native animals are major drawcards for the Japanese who stay an average of 5.6 nights and spend $1286 per person,” he said.

“Cairns has very close ties with Japan, which was one of our first major international tourism markets, and we look forward to rebuilding our connections again.”

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