Four charter flights from Japan to Alice Springs


2589 JTB OKAlice Springs will next week receive its first charter flight from Japan in over 10 years, according to Northern Territory Airports Pty Ltd.
It says the flight will be operated using a 161 seat Japan Airlines 787-800 Dreamliner aircraft.
It is the first in a series of four JTB World Vacations charter flights from Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka and will touch down in the early hours on Monday, October 22.
“Most visitors arriving on the charter flights will spend time touring the sights in Alice Springs before heading to Uluru on specially arranged Alliance Airlines charter flights,” says Dave Batic, general manager of the airport said.
“Alice Springs was chosen as the arrival port for the international charter flight as the runway at Uluru can’t accommodate the wide body Japan Airlines 787-800 Dreamliner aircraft.
“By working closely with Australian Border Force, this demonstrates our airport’s readiness to enhance regional tourism, without significant additional capital spend.
“Most importantly, these flights give Alice Springs a terrific opportunity to shine on the international tourism stage.
“Our hotels, tourism operators, retailers, cafes and restaurants all stand to gain enormous benefit from the influx in Japanese visitors in the coming weeks.”
The charter program is being arranged by JTB World Vacations, the largest travel wholesaler in Japan.
The program is expected to generate an estimated additional 1,440 visitor nights and an estimated one to two million dollars in visitor spend in the Territory.
Japan is the fourth largest visitor market in the NT and the fifth largest market to Australia, recently eclipsing Singapore, with 434,600 Japanese visitor arrivals, says Mr Batic.
A multi-year agreement between JTB and Alliance Airlines has helped facilitate the charter flights between Alice Springs and Uluru, says Lee Schofield, CEO of Alliance Airlines.
“The Fokker jet service from Alice Springs to Uluru and return allows visitors to maximise their experience on the ground and minimise their overall travel time.”

– Media release



  1. Makes you think that NT Airports and the NT Government should consider making Alice Springs an international airport.
    As at current our only ace being that wide body jets can’t land at Connellan [at the Ayers Rock Resort]. In time this will change as upgrades are performed at Yulara.

  2. Arissu Supuringsu Ni yokoso!!! It should have been an international port of arrival and international freight distribution centre years ago in conjunction with a dedicated technical development park exporting technology based on what we do best (solar) 40 years ago.
    This was the basis of a plan put by INratril, the then owners, to Government, but ignored.
    The future of the town is still south of The Gap and it will happen by attrition whether we like it or not.
    We had the same opportunity based on arid land food production but houses got in the way.

  3. Yes, Trevor, I remember the talks to have an international airport in the Center where all domestic airlines would have departed (makes sense).
    But money talked, all cities wanted revenues from international flights and now they complain about congestion and noise.
    Money before common sense = problems.

  4. The concept of Alice Springs Airport serving as an international flight arrival and departure facility is an old one.
    It’s typical of the difficulties this region faces with major infrastructure developments of this kind; consider, for example, the histories of constructing the north-south railway (well over a century from its original conception), the sealing of the south Stuart Highway (this took decades), and the still awaited sealing of the “Outback Way” and Tanami Road (first called for by new Member for Stuart, Tony Greatorex, in 1966).
    Nothing new in any of this; and it’s telling that progress on these issues is no faster under self-government of the NT (or, in the case of the airport, under private ownership) than it was when the Commonwealth had direct control of the Territory.
    Some of us may live long enough to see the completion of all of these major transportation infrastructure developments for Central Australia.


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