Jetstar is set to a four times weekly return service between Melbourne and Ayers Rock Airport (Uluru) from 29 June 2014.
The move sees Jetstar become the only scheduled carrier to offer nonstop flights between the two destinations.
Jetstar Australia and New Zealand CEO David Hall said this was a great development for both the Victorian and Northern Territory tourism industries.
“We know Uluru is one of Australia’s most highly sought after holiday destinations and we’re confident our low fares will help drive tourism growth to the region,” Hall said.
“History has shown we have a great track record of generating new market demand through our low fares and we’re excited about the role we’re playing to strengthen the local tourism industry.
“We’ve seen a lot of international travellers connect on to our existing services from Sydney to Uluru and we’d expect to see this pattern continue from Melbourne.
“This is good news for the Victorian economy as we’re likely to see more international travellers combining a stopover in Melbourne with their visit to Uluru.”
The launch of Jetstar’s newest domestic route comes as the low fares carrier also announced an increase in frequency on the Sydney-Uluru market from four times weekly to a daily service.
“Since launching the Sydney to Uluru route last year, we’ve seen a steady increase in demand on the market and we’re introducing some additional capacity in response,” Hall said.
“We’ve always been really clear that we’ll move quickly and readily to take advantage of opportunities, and today’s announcement is yet another example of this principle in action.”
Voyages’ acting CEO Andrew Williams said he was thrilled with the announcement of Jetstar’s new services to Uluru, the spiritual heart of Australia.
“We see it as a great endorsement of the growing popularity of the destination, both domestically and internationally,” Williams said.
“Ayers Rock Resort has undergone a complete rejuvenation including hotel refurbishments and initiatives such as the introduction of free daily Indigenous guest experiences and new dining and touring options.
“Our new conference facility, the Uluru Meeting Place, has also proved extremely popular, winning the Australian Tourism Award for Business Tourism.”
Voyages Board Chairperson, Lisa Gay, also welcomed the new services.
“Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia welcomes Jetstar’s decision to increase its flights from Sydney and introduce regular flights from Melbourne to Uluru,” she said.
“We are thrilled that Jetstar has increased its flights to Ayers Rock and see it as a great endorsement for the growing popularity of the destination, both domestically and internationally.
“The Voyages Management and the entire team at the Resort have worked tirelessly to create a total rejuvenation of the destination and a centre of Indigenous excellence in tourism, and have also done a wonderful job in communicating these new experiences to both domestic and international markets,” she said.
It is an exciting time at Ayers Rock Resort with a program of major events in 2014 well underway. Tjungu, an inaugural Indigenous cultural festival, takes place from 24-27 April. It will be followed by the Outback Fest featuring the Uluru Camel Cup Race from 2-5 May and the Outback Marathon and an Astrology Weekend later in the year.
“The improvements to the Resort’s product and service levels and the wide range of activities and events now offered to guests is contributing to a significant increase in demand for the destination,” Williams said.
“Voyages’ initiative to trial a direct air charter from Melbourne to Ayers Rock has also helped to establish demand in that market. It is great to see Jetstar now responding to this growing demand by significantly increasing its services to the destination,” he said.