Qantas responds to domestic flight popularity by bumping up Cairns to Brisbane services
Growing demand has led Qantas to introduce an additional 11 weekly return flights between Cairns and Brisbane in the new year.
The national carrier will also extend the use of its larger Airbus A330s on selected flights from Cairns to Sydney and Melbourne.
The changes will come into effect on the 31st March and are aimed up opening up more seats for local tourism and business travelers.
There have been concerns seats on domestic routes to Cairns have been gobbled up by Chinese visitors, 80% of whom arrive in the city on a domestic flight.
Qantas Domestic CEO Andrew David said the increase in services is a result of feedback from customers, industry and community leaders.
“These additional flights reinforce our ongoing commitment to increasing tourism to and within the Sunshine State,” he said.
Cairns Airport CEO Norris Carter said the extra services will boost capacity by more than a thousand seats per week.
“We’ve seen strong demand for more domestic seats from visitors and locals alike.
"These additional flights and larger aircraft provide 1366 more seats per week for visitors from Australia to come to Cairns, and for international visitors to travel around Australia,” he said.
The move has also been welcomed by Queensland's Tourism Industry Development Minister, Kate Jones.
“Direct flights are crucial to growing Queensland’s tourism economy and today’s announcement from Qantas is a great sign of confidence in our tourism industry,” she said.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for visitors to access our key visitor destinations like Cairns.
Qantas has also announced it will resume daily flights between Cairns and Port Moresby, a route it had operated until 2016.
Andrew David said it’s in response to a growing number of people travelling between Queensland and Papua New Guinea.
“We know there is strong demand for a direct flight to Port Moresby from the Cairns business community.
"This is also great news for tourism, making it easier for travellers to enjoy a getaway in Cairns,” he said.