Hong Kong Airlines boosts flights to Cairns
The tourism resurgence in the Tropical North knows no bounds with the announcement of extra flights out of Hong Kong.
There's more good news for the Cairns economy with Hong Kong Airlines announcing an extra two services into Cairns and the Gold Coast, delivering an extra $70 million to the Queensland economy.
The extra flights were in response to the success of the airline's route between Hong Kong, the Gold Coast and Cairns, which will now increase the number of inbound flights from three to five per week.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the additional weekly services have the potential to bring an extra 30,000 inbound passengers to Queensland and combined with the existing service, deliver 59,000 seats each year.
The new flights were secured through the government's Attracting Aviation Investment Fund with support from Cairns Airport, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and stakeholders on the Gold Coast.
Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chief Executive Officer Alex de Waal said he was pleased to see aviation capacity growing with the "increase in demand for Queensland destinations".
Cairns Airport General Manager Aeronautical Janice Antonson also welcomed the additional flights.
“These extra rotations will ensure this popular service is a major contributor to the continuing growth in passenger numbers from China and other parts of Asia that we see at Cairns Airport,” she said.
According to the latest Cairns Watch report by Herron Todd White, passenger numbers at Cairns Airport have increased in trend terms by 4 percent at the domestic terminal, 7.2 percent at the international terminal, and 4.4 percent overall.
Much of the growth at the international terminal this year has been due to more Chinese (up 89 percent) and Japanese (up 8 percent) travellers flying on direct international flights to Cairns.
Cairns Watch report author Rick Carr noted international numbers will be boosted even further when Jin Air commences twice-weekly seasonal services to/from Korea in December 2016.