Jin could prove the perfect tonic for Tropical North Queensland tourism as the airline takes off with a new non-stop service from Seoul to Cairns.
Queensland’s tourism Minister Kate Jones said Cairns was the first airport in Australia to land a service by Korean low-coast carrier Jin Air.
“The seasonal direct flights from Seoul to Cairns will get underway from December,” Jones said.
Jin is not pronounced ‘gin’, as in the alcoholic drink. The Korean pronunciation “is similar to that of English ‘jean’ and the uniform of Jin Air is a pair of jeans,” according to Wikipedia, which goes on to say: “Jin Air has been using a pair of jeans as the uniform of cabin crew, cockpit crew and ground personnel from the time the company was established.”
Cairns is only the third Australian airport to receive direct flights from Korea, which Jones said showed the level of confidence international airlines have in Queensland.
“With the forecast success of these seasonal services the airline is gearing towards making these flights year-round next year which would deliver AUD 49 million in economic benefit.
“We have secured these flights with Tourism and Events Queensland through the Palaszczuk Government’s Attracting Aviation Investment Fund.”
Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) chief executive Leanne Coddington signed the new partnership deal in a Memorandum of Understanding with Jin Air in Seoul this week.
Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said the new seasonal flights would help grow tourism in the Far North.
“We have seen record numbers of visitors to Tropical North Queensland in the last 12 months with close to 2 million international and Australian visitors coming to our region,” Crawford said.
“This new seasonal Jin Air flight will provide access for up to 5000 extra visitors and a year-round service will grow to allow access for up to 41,000 visitors each year.
“Cairns is now only the second Queensland city with direct connections to South Korea, with Korean Air servicing Brisbane year-round.”
Jones said Tourism Research Australia figures predicted annual growth of 4.7 per cent in Korean travellers visiting Australia across the next five years.
Coddington said: “TEQ is committed to inspiring more visitors to come to Queensland by increasing access into the state’s international ports through the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund and other airline incentives.
“Queensland has seen exceptional growth in international visitor numbers and the Korean market is no different with an increase of 17.4% for the same time last year.
“It’s fantastic that Korean and Asian visitors can now touchdown in Queensland on the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef though these direct Jin Air flights.”
A Jin Air spokesperson said: “Under this MOU, we expect significant synergy in improving tourism industry and cultural exchanges between the countries.
We will do our best to provide our passenger visiting Cairns, one of the most famous leisure destinations in Australia, with reasonable flight experience based on the world-class service skills.”
Edited by Peter Needham