Townsville Airport has secured its first international route two months after the federal government agreed to support passenger processing at the North Queensland gateway.
Qantas’s low-cost subsidiary Jetstar will fly three times a week between Townsville and Bali (Denpasar) with Airbus A320s from September, the airport said on Friday.
Townsville Airport said chief operating officer Kevin Gill said the new flights to Bali would offer North Queenslanders more choice and convenience for their travel plans.
“Denpasar is not just an exciting destination in its own right, but it’s also a major international air services hub with direct connections to many major cities around the world,” Gill said in a statement.
“This is exciting news for Townsville and puts our airport and city back on the international travel map.”
The inaugural service was slated for September 2, with JQ102 scheduled to depart Townsville at 2255 local time, and arrive at Denpasar Airport at 0130 the next day. The reciprocal JQ101 has a departure time from Bali of 0230 and an arrival time at Townsville of 0915.
Townsville Airport received the go-ahead for international flights in February after an “in-principle agreement of the National Passenger Processing Committee to facilitate international services” at the airport.
Jetstar chief executive for Australia and New Zealand David Hall told the Townsville Bulletin the new flights would not have been viable without a cost-effective customs and security solution.
Hall said Jetstar’s bookings showed there were plenty of passengers from Townsville who currently flew to Bali via another Australian port and he hoped the new service would appeal to families and groups of friends.
Townsville Airport has had international flights in the past, most recently with the now defunct Strategic Airlines flying to Denpasar.