January 25, 2023 | By Bronwen Largier | Sudbury Cay on the Great Barrier Reef, just off Cairns | Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Destinations on both Australian coasts will be ports for additional flights to and from Japan later this year, with Perth and Cairns set to be reconnected – or more connected – to Japan’s most populous city, Tokyo.

Virgin Australia will fly from Cairns to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport daily from June 28, introducing 2,000 seats per week between the two destinations, which could really boost the incentive proposition of Cairns, as a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree rainforest.

Jetstar currently flies between the two cities four times a week, but departs from Tokyo’s other airport Narita, which is further from the city.

“We’re excited to offer our guests access directly into and out of Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, on new fuel-efficient aircraft,” said Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka

“We know the Japanese market is hugely important to trade and tourism in Far North Queensland and the sunshine state and our service will result in more international visitors arriving in Cairns every year, having a very positive impact on the state’s economy.”

The new route was supported by the Queensland Government’s Attracting Aviation Investment Fund, which has notched up a plethora of wins since pandemic travel restrictions eased.

On the other side of the country, Japan’s All Nippon Airways will resume flights between Perth and Tokyo in October, offering three return trips each week. This likewise opens up incentive opportunities along Australia’s west coast, renowned for its beauty.

“The connection will prove invaluable not only for Western Australia’s tourism sector, but also for trade, industry and international education,” said Western Australia’s Premier, Mark McGowan.

The state’s tourism minister, Roger Cook, also highlighted the importance of the Japanese market to the state.

“ANA is an important airline partner and Japan is a significant visitor market for Western Australia, representing our eighth largest international market by number of visitors,” he said.