Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills said the move represented a vote of confidence in the Gold Coast by Jetstar, which has operated international services to and from the city for more than a decade.
“We are excited about adding this route to the international services we already have into Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and New Zealand,” he said.
“South Korean visitation to the Gold Coast and northern New South Wales increased by 53 per cent last year, so there is a significant growing demand to connect our regions.
“We also know travellers from South Korea are among the top spenders when it comes to visitor groups, so this will deliver significant benefits to our tourism economy.”
Mr Mills said he expected the flights would also be popular with Gold Coasters and northern NSW residents looking to explore South Korea.
“It means an easy and affordable connection to South Korea for thrillseekers wanting to hit the ski slopes or foodies looking to experience the country’s unique culinary offering,” he said.
The service, commencing on 8 December 2019, will operate on Jetstar’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, in partnership with Seoul-based Jeju Air to support inbound visitation from South Korea.
It represents an additional 52,260 seats into the city each year and is forecast to contribute up to $176.5 million to the Queensland economy over the next three years.
The route is supported through the State Government’s Attracting Aviation Investment Fund, in partnership with airport owner Queensland Airports Limited and Destination Gold Coast.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the new service was an important addition to growing the state’s connections to Asia.
“The Queensland Government continues to build the state’s connectivity with Asia, which is such a vital market for our tourism economy,” she said.
“South Korea is a high-priority market for Queensland and this new service will provide added capacity to an underserviced route.”
Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans said it was expected that inbound and outbound demand for the new flights would be strong.
“Research shows that South Korean travellers consistently rank Australia as the top destination they want to visit,” Mr Evans said.
“South Koreans already travel more per capita than any other country in the world, so there’s no doubt they will take advantage of these new direct flights to the Gold Coast.
“By introducing the only direct, low fares link from Australia to Seoul, we also expect that South Korea will be a country that jumps to the top of many Australian travellers’ bucket lists.”
Destination Gold Coast CEO Annaliese Battista said the new service appealed to travellers seeking high quality and authentic experiences that are akin to Gold Coast’s offering.
“The Gold Coast is the third most popular Australian destination for South Korean visitors who return time and time again, because they love our beaches, weather, theme parks, and natural attractions,” she said.
“Strong interest in Australia’s favourite playground resonates particularly with families and honeymooners who are looking for high-end, sophisticated, and iconic tourism experiences.”
This news comes after Gold Coast Airport was voted the Best Regional Airport in the Australia Pacific region for the fourth time in nine years at the Skytrax World Airport Awards in London. Read more here