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Bangkok flights soon to be back on agenda at Brisbane Airport

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Brisbane Airport (BNE) has announced one of the final missing pieces of the post-pandemic puzzle will fall into place this December when Jetstar reconnects Queensland with Thailand through direct B787 services to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK).

The new non-stop service is forecast to bring in more than 190,000 additional inbound seats to Queensland over three-years, worth A$116 million in Overnight Visitor Expenditure and up to 630 jobs.

“We are delighted to be reconnecting two long-time friends, Queensland and Thailand. This route has been the most frequently requested in comments on Brisbane Airport’s social media accounts over the past two years,” said BNE’s CEO, Gert-Jan de Graaf.

“A direct flight makes it easier for families and friends to connect and provides greater opportunities for Queensland exporters with up to 15 tonnes of freight capacity on every service.

“Queenslanders have embraced the great value Jetstar offers, propelling it from Brisbane Airport’s seventh biggest international carrier to number two.”

The new route is part of a major expansion of Jetstar’s Brisbane operations following a landmark partnership with Brisbane Airport in 2023. The agreement has unlocked half a million new low fares seats a year with direct flights taking off from Brisbane to Tokyo (Narita), Osaka (Kansai), Seoul (Incheon) and Auckland.

The new service will be the first time that Queensland has had a direct connection with Thailand since Thai Airways ceased flights on 29 March 2020 due to the pandemic.

The route is supported by the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund, which is jointly funded by the Queensland government and the state’s international airports.

Queensland’s minister for tourism, Michael Healy, noted: “Compared to pre-COVID figures, we have recently seen record numbers of visitors from Thailand to Queensland, so it was vital for us to open up a direct route to Bangkok.

“This is another win for the $200 million Attracting Aviation Investment Fund which has now secured 32 international routes since February 2022.”

In other route development news, Brisbane Airport has welcomed Cathay Pacific’s decision to increase services from Brisbane to Hong Kong from 6 to 10 flights per week to serve the growing number of tourists coming to Queensland and boost local exports.

This announcement takes advantage of the significance of Hong Kong as a strategic gateway for both passengers and freight.

“These additional flights will bring more international tourists to Queensland and carry more of our state’s high value exports to Hong Kong’s extensive cargo hub, which connects to the Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America,” said to Ryan Both, executive general manager of aviation at Brisbane Airport.

“The boost will provide an extra 32,384 seats into Brisbane. Make no mistake, this boosts jobs in tourism regions across Queensland and strengthens the state’s economy.”

It has been 42 years since the first Cathay Pacific 747 arrived in Brisbane, providing a crucial link to one of the most important financial centres in the world.

Earlier this month, the carrier retrieved its final aircraft which had been stored in Alice Springs due to the pandemic.

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