GOLD Coast Airport has expressed its disappointment in Jetstar’s decision to pull its Gold Coast-Narita service, which has directly connected the Aussie city with Japan for 15 years.
Jetstar’s Tokyo Narita service launched in December 2008, and since resuming after the pandemic in August 2022, has carried more than 79,000 passengers, with aircrafts servicing the route reaching 77% capacity on average.
“Along with our partners and passengers, we are very disappointed that Jetstar has decided to withdraw its Tokyo Narita service from Gold Coast Airport,” Queensland Airports Limited’s Chief Commercial Officer Adam Rowe said.
“We understand that Jetstar’s decision was based on operational performance, rather than the popularity of the connection, as this service has been a longstanding driver of our tourism industry and always well patronised by locals.”
Rowe said the airport will continue to collaborate with the State Government and its tourism partners to secure new Asian services to the Gold Coast and expand existing international markets, including New Zealand, Kuala Lumpur, and Bali.
Destination Gold Coast also voiced its disappointment in the Qantas subsidiary’s move to scrap the popular Narita flights, with the DMO confirming it will continue to focus on Japan as a key inbound market.
Interim Chief Operating Officer Rachel Hancock highlighted the Gold Coast’s huge popularity among Japanese travellers, saying, “we will continue to attract these high value travellers via engagement direct with consumers and trade partners, highlighting opportunities to connect with Gold Coast via Brisbane and our immense domestic connectivity to the Gold Coast via Sydney and Melbourne”.
The Gold Coast has also seen strong demand returning in key international markets including New Zealand, Southeast and North Asia, Hancock highlighted, with the DMO team “regularly engaging these markets through regular campaign activity, in-market missions, and publicity opportunities to showcase the breadth and depth of everything the Gold Coast has to offer.
“Together with our airport partners, the City of Gold Coast and the Queensland Government we will continue to hunt as a pack to rebuild international services and unlock new opportunities through aviation hubs that would allow travel into the Gold Coast from other parts of Asia, India, and Europe,” Hancock concluded.