FNQ Tourism Leaders Seek Clarity On International Flight Plan

90% target looms

Article heading image for FNQ Tourism Leaders Seek Clarity On International Flight Plan

Plans are underway at Cairns airport for a return on international flights, as Queensland approaches the 90% double-dose vaccination target.

The tourism sector in the far north continues to be impacted from the Omicron case wave.

A federal decision for international flights is yet to be revealed, however the tourism sector is clinging on to the possibility of a sudden boost.

Planes from overseas destinations may not be touching down at Cairns airport until late March, early April, a similar timeframe for international departures at Brisbane airport.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland chief Mark Olsen said two particular nations are being mapped out, with Japan and New Zealand at the top of the list.

“Once we reach the 90 per cent mark Brisbane will be first and Cairns will follow,” he said.

“Jetstar has Japan flights starting in March and Air New Zealand are most likely to follow in April or May."

“At this stage forward bookings are strong for Easter and international travel will return after that and kickstart winter.”

Major adventure tourism chief executive John O’Sullivan said the Federal government's decision making will shape travel investment for the foreseeable future. 

“A return will be dictated by the federal government as to what markets will open and under what conditions,” he said.

“And the other big factor is if they let double vaccinated foreign nationals in for tourism purposes."

Industry leaders say they have never seen Cairns this quiet in the past 25 years, and the next steps surrounding entry for tourists is important to the areas survival.

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17 January 2022

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