44,000 seats per week on domestic flights to Cairns
ALMOST 44,000 seats are available on Cairns-bound domestic flights each week, as airlines continue to show confidence in the Far North.
Domestic arrival figures released by Tourism Queensland yesterday show 264 flights operated by Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin and Tiger Airways fly into Cairns each week, with 43,539 available seats.
Cairns Airport chief executive officer Kevin Brown said the figures showed considerable growth from previous months leading up to the peak tourism season.
"There are several additional services from our key tourism source markets of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne," he said.
"This is good news for the industry with our airline partners demonstrating their confidence in the destination as we move into our peak tourism season."
Qantas narrowly edged out its low-fare offshoot Jetstar to offer the most flights into Cairns, at 95 compared to 93.
But Jetstar offers the most seats, with 17,423 each week compared with Qantas, at 14,621.
A Jetstar spokesman said Cairns remained one of the airline's most popular destinations.
"We’re proud to offer the highest number of seats on domestic services into Cairns," he said.
Virgin manager of corporate communications Colin Lippiatt said the airline added a sixth weekday flight from Brisbane to Cairns in February, as well as two more flights from Townsville each week. Virgin has also moved to a bigger 176-seat aircraft across its fleet, compared with the traditional 140-seater.
"Therefore, in some cases, while the number of flights on routes we operate may not have increased, the total number of seats may have," Mr Lippiatt said.
Tourism Tropical North Queensland chief executive officer Rob Giason welcomed the increase in capacity.
"It's certainly a sign of confidence that our airlines are providing more services," he said.
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Taking off: Airlines like Jetstar are increasing the number of seats on domestic flights into Cairns.