Mayor to take fight for Cathay Pacific to The Premier


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu.

Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said today that Cathay Pacific’s decision to discontinue their Cairns to Hong Kong route after 25 years’ service will be her number one priority when she attends a mayors’ delegation in Brisbane later this month.

“I have spoken to State members, Michael Healy and Cynthia Lui and will be speaking directly to the Premier and Minister Kate Jones during a Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (FNQROC) Mayors’ delegation to Brisbane on 14-15 May.

“This is the number one priority for me during this delegation,” said Cr Leu.

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Cairns received a double blow with last month’s announcement by China Southern, who will be suspending flights to Cairns for six months as part of a review.

“Cathay’s announcement is deeply concerning and all efforts to reverse their decision must be an absolute priority.

“We desperately need more direct flights into Cairns, not less,” said Cr Leu.

She said it is critical that there is a proactive and co-ordinated campaign to fight this immediately.

“The loss of this long haul international route, impacts on our domestic and freight capacity for fresh seafood and agricultural produce is massive.”

The region’s leading tourism body, Tourism Port Douglas Daintree (TPDD), said the announcement is devastating.

“I’m concerned for both the tourism and agriculture/aquaculture sectors, who rely heavily on the flight access.

“This is such an important link for visitors from the Douglas Shire’s key long haul western markets, particularly the UK,” said TPDD Executive Officer Tara Bennett.

Ms Bennett said TPDD is in discussions with stakeholders at all levels to determine if there is an opportunity to review the decision.

Cathay Pacific has not provided a reason for its decision.

The airline will suspend its scheduled service between Hong Kong and Cairns effective from 27 October 2019.

Reservations for Cathay Pacific’s Hong Kong-Cairns flights have been closed for travel after 27 October 2019, according to the AirlineRoute website.

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