Virgin unveils new daily Brisbane to Tokyo flights
A NEW Virgin Australia service from Tokyo to Brisbane is tipped to deliver a $250 million economic windfall and more than 2700 jobs.
The Courier-Mail can reveal that the daily service, launching next March from Tokyo's Haneda Airport, has the capacity to bring an extra 100,000-plus Japanese tourists to Queensland.
Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the flights would generate an estimated $254 million in economic benefits over the next three years.
"We're talking about an additional 100,375 seats a year coming into Brisbane," she said.
"This is a great day for the Queensland tourism industry. We're investing in tourism to create jobs for Queenslanders."
About 212,000 Japanese visited Queensland in the year to June - spending more than $463 million - and Ms Jones said the new flights were expected to boost the market.
She said when the last direct flights from Tokyo were launched in 2015, Japanese tourism surged by 22 per cent in just 12 months.
"Direct aviation access is key to growing our state's share of the market and these new services are another shot in the arm for the industry," she said.
Virgin Australia boss Paul Scurrah said the new service would provide significant benefits 'and bring much-needed competition to a monopoly market'.
'The Brisbane - Haneda market has a strong growth outlook and our research has shown this route will have significant benefits for business and leisure travellers, the tourism industry, and the Australian economy," he said.
"All Australians can enjoy our new Japan service but we're particularly pleased to be flying out of our home base of Brisbane, and giving local residents even more reasons to visit Japan and enjoy our best value fares and award-winning service."
Brisbane Airport Corporation chief Gert-Jan de Graaff said it was a great win for the airport.
"This new Virgin Australia service will be the first direct connection between Queensland and Haneda Airport, the primary international airport serving Tokyo, and the first new airline capacity between Japan and Queensland since 2015," he said.
"We applaud Virgin Australia's decision to expand long-haul services to and from Brisbane Airport, which not only improves connectivity for travellers in Queensland, but ensures travellers from across their broader network in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific now also have choice and access to competitive and direct international flights to Japan."