Alice 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