International Arrivals Likely Excluded From Cairns Amid Sluggish Jab Rates

Fears over massive loses

Article heading image for International Arrivals Likely Excluded From Cairns Amid Sluggish Jab Rates


Cairns Airport's boss has come out firing over revelations international travellers could be locked out of the Far North for another five months.

News Corp reports, a Federal Government letter states our overseas terminal may remain closed until the end of March to protect vulnerable communities with lagging vaccination rates. 

Stay up-to-date on the latest news with The Far North Briefing - keeping you in the loop with breaking news as it hits.

The Cairns Post have divulged that Air Niugini chief executive officer Bruce Alabaster claims he received a letter from the federal government informing his airline the Cairns international airport would be grounded until March 26.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications have responded via correspondence that "the Queensland Government has advised a suspension of scheduled international passenger arrivals into Cairns continues to be required given the level of available quarantine support and capacity in Cairns".

“The date was chosen to provide additional time for the region to increase vaccination in remote and indigenous communities and allow the region to see how the South East Queensland corridor managed the first wave of international arrivals.”

Meanwhile, Cairns Airport CEO Richard Barker claims the Covid risk from a domestic traveller is no greater than a fully vaccinated one from somewhere like Tokyo. 

It comes as Jetstar have already sold flights booked for February from Cairns to Tokyo and Osaka.

“Losing flights into Cairns would be a tragedy not only for our airport but the entire tourism and education communities, and would require years and significant investment to recover,” he said.

Mr Barker warns of massive losses if the airport misses out on opening up to international travellers the same time as the rest of Australia's eastern seaboard. 

“If international flights to Cairns open after other parts of the state, we run the risk of airlines establishing permanent routes with other airports.

- Richard Barker

It comes as Queensland's domestic border are set to open from December 17, ahead of international arrivals.


Join Tom Tilley with regular rotating co-hosts Jan Fran, Annika Smethurst and Jamila Rizvi on The Briefing, Monday - Saturday, for the day's headlines and breaking news as well as hot topics and interviews. Available on Listnr.

Triple M Newsroom

29 October 2021

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Triple M Newsroom

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