HELLO TOKYO: Virgin launches new Cairns-Tokyo route

People in the streets of Omoide-Yokocho in Shinjuku Tokyo Japan. This is one of the few areas in the city that are still intact from the development that started in the 60's till today. Surrounded by skyscrapers and close to Shinjuku station this small alley is packed with small restaurants.

Virgin Australia is capping off the year in fighting form with a new international route.

In an Aussie aviation first, the airline will kick off a new daily return Cairns-Tokyo (Haneda) service on 28 June 2023.

To celebrate the announcement, Virgin will launch a special Hello Tokyo sale from today with return fares from as low as $699 Economy Lite return, on sale until midnight 20 December 2022 or until sold out.

Virgin has also strengthened its partnership with Japan’s largest airline, All Nippon Airways (ANA), to further boost connectivity with greater codeshare access and give members of Velocity and ANA Mileage Club reciprocal loyalty benefits throughout 2023 and beyond.

Consul-General Ono, Consulate-General of Japan in Brisbane said it was wonderful to be in Cairns to celebrate this important milestone not only for the airline but also for the local tourism industry and the Japanese community.

“Cairns and Far North Queensland remain very popular with Japanese travellers and this route will pleasingly see the return of over 30,000 Japanese tourists every year into the region, providing a much-needed lift for the industry, and strengthening ties between Queensland and Japan,” he said.

The new route was supported by Queensland’s $200 million Attracting Aviation Investment Fund, in partnership with the State’s four international airports, according to QLD’s Minister for Tourism, Stirling Hinchliffe.

“Japan is an important part of our inbound international tourism recovery plan for iconic destinations like Cairns and Tropical North Queensland,” he said.

“Virgin Australia direct from Japan is terrific news for tourism operators, generating almost $70 million for the Tropical North’s visitor economy and supporting 680 good Queensland jobs.”

Virgin Australia Group’s CEO, Jayne Hrdlicka said the announcement wraps up a huge year for the airline, which has significantly expanded its short-haul international network over the last year.

“Virgin Australia is a proud Queensland company and we’re delighted to add over 2,000 seats between these iconic destinations every week which means more value and choice for Australians wanting to travel to Japan,” she said.

“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.”

Since international borders re-opened 12 months ago, the airline has resumed flights to Bali, Fiji, and Queenstown, with Vanuatu, Samoa and Tokyo commencing in the first half of 2023.

Today the airline also celebrates the first flight from Adelaide to Bali departing at 5:50pm local time, with plans to commence Australia’s first ever Gold Coast to Bali service on 29 March 2023.

 Image: Omoide-Yokocho in Shinjuku Tokyo (iStock/Starcevic)

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