Cairns International Aviation Route Development


Cairns Airport is the nation’s seventh busiest in terms of combined international and domestic passenger movements. It handles around 130,000 aircraft movements and over 5.2M passenger movements per year. The airport is widely recognised as one of the most significant economic drivers in the Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) region, and its facilities are critical pieces of economic infrastructure.

New international aviation routes directly benefit tourism along with opportunities such as international education, growth in regional exports and the region’s aviation industry infrastructure and services. A new daily wide body international service is estimated to generate $103.2M GDP and 667 new jobs. A three times per week service generates $44.2M and 286 jobs.

TNQ tourism provides an output of $3.1B being the largest industry contributor to GDP and creates 33,000 jobs in the region.

Cairns Airport offers an extensive domestic network that allows international visitors to travel to or from other parts of Australia. Currently 77% of international visitors through Cairns Airport travel on domestic flights.

More international services direct to Cairns encourage international visitors to stay longer and spend more while they are here.

Cairns Airport’s strategic direction focusses on increasing direct international services in both the full service airline and low cost airline models. Its success will deliver economic benefits to the region and the state.

If regional produce is carried on the outbound services, there is potential for a further significant contribution to the regional and state economy through freight export value. Full service Gulf carriers have recognised the value in this particular business unit ex Cairns.


Tropical North Queensland.

There are opportunities to further expand international connectivity for Cairns and thereby grow access from key international visitor source markets in Europe, New Zealand, Asia, North America and the Middle East.


That the State Government commits funds to support Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) destination marketing in key visitor source markets as new routes are secured. These funds are required to launch the route and create brand awareness for long term route sustainability. This will assist TNQ reach its 2020 visitor expenditure target of $4.2B.


CEO, Advance Cairns Ph: 07 4080 2900

PROPONENTS: Cairns Airport, Tourism Tropical North Queensland