180 passengers are expected to be on the first flight from Cairns to Denpasar since international borders closed in 2020.

The Jetstar flight is scheduled to take off at 9.30PM this Sunday night as a twice-weekly service to Bali begins.

It will increase to three services a week in June.

North Queensland Airports CEO Richard Barker said it’s the third international destination to be re-opened for departing travellers.

"It is great to see more international flights returning to our airport, with Bali a welcome addition to those services recently introduced by Singapore Airlines and Air Niugini," he said.


More than 60,000 passengers travelled on the Cairns to Bali route per year before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resumption of Jetstar services to Tokyo and Osaka from Cairns is still under review but has tentatively been slated for mid-July.

The schedule has been delayed because of continuing COVID-19 restrictions in Japan.

Thrice-weekly direct New Zealand flights recommence in July. 

Domestic arrivals and departures have also been extremely strong over the Easter School holidays and long weekends.

52,000 passengers alone travelled into Cairns over the four-day Easter weekend – a massive 9600% increase compared with the same period two years ago.

“Needless to say, April will be the best month for the airport in over two years and for a period of time back to 2019 passenger levels,” Mr Barker said.

“We expect this to slow a little in the coming months before we once again hit our mid-winter peak.”

Bonza Airlines is also due to start operating mid-year.


Main points

  • A full planeload of 180 passengers will depart Cairns for Bali on flight JQ90 this weekend
  • Direct New Zealand and Japan flights are expected to resume in July
  • Flights to Papua New Guinea and Singapore took off earlier this year