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AirAsia Indonesia to open its first Cairns route

written by Jake Nelson | June 7, 2024

(L-R) Cairns Airport CEO Richard Barker, Tourism Minister Michael Healy, AirAsia Indonesia head of Indonesia Affairs and Policy Eddy Soemawilaga, Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO Mark Olsen and Indonesia Consul General Vedi Jurnia Buana at the announcement of AirAsia flights to Cairns. (Image: Cairns Airport)

AirAsia Indonesia will fly to Cairns for the first time with the announcement of a new Bali A320-200 service.

Starting 14 August, the low-cost carrier will fly three times per week between Cairns and Denpasar and is expected to add more than 28,000 international seats into Cairns within the first 12 months. Customers will be able to connect through Bali to other destinations in the AirAsia network.

“This announcement is great news for locals, with more flights to Bali. Importantly, this service will also open up one-stop, low-fare travel to Tropical North Queensland from some of largest nations in Southeast Asia, on an airline that is well known in those markets,” said Cairns Airport CEO Richard Barker.

“These flights will provide direct connectivity from Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, and domestic Indonesia, including Jakarta and Surabaya, via Denpasar to Cairns.”

Veranita Yosephine, CEO of AirAsia Indonesia, said Cairns and the rest of Tropical North Queensland are attractive destinations for Asian passengers.


“At the same time, Asia is a top destination for Australians offering unique experiences at affordable prices,” she said.

“While Bali remains one of Australia’s favourite leisure destinations, we aim to promote the many other undiscovered Asian wonders.

“Residents of Cairns and surrounding cities like Mackay and Townsville can now not only fly to Bali on AirAsia at great value fares, but also access over a hundred destinations in the AirAsia Group network via a short stopover in Bali.”

The new route was enabled partly through the Queensland government’s Attracting Aviation Investment Fund (AAIF), and the government and local tourism businesses expect the service to attract long-haul travellers from the UK and Europe, especially youth and group travel.

Queensland Tourism Minister Michael Healy has welcomed the opportunities for the state.

“The Far North remains a hot ticket for visitors who want to see just how much Queensland has to offer, and now the arrival of AirAsia Indonesia to Cairns will bring even more travellers from around the world to this incredibly beautiful region,” he said.

“This agreement with Asia’s first low-cost, low-fare carrier is another significant milestone for our successful Attracting Aviation Investment Fund and shows that Queensland’s reputation as Australia’s tourism destination of choice is strong.”

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