Leaders scramble for action as Cathay Pacific pulls out of Cairns

A team of Far North’s major political players has been put together to try and reverse the shock decision by Cathay Pacific to cancel its Cairns-Hong Kong flight after 25 years.

The announcement by the carrier that it would end services in October took everyone by surprise, with Cairns Airport CEO Norris Carter, who will be the intermediary between the organisations and the airline, saying he was both concerned and surprised.

“From what I understand, the loadings have been very strong and the flights have been full,” he told the Cairns Post.

Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree chief executive Tara Bennett said the news was “devastating” as the route is “an important link for visitors from our key long haul markets, particularly the UK”.

“We sincerely hope the representations being made by government at the state and federal level can assist in changing the decision,” she said.

Cairns is undergoing a tourism infrastructure boom at the moment, with Crystalbrook Collection investing $700 million in projects across the Far North.

Crystalbrook CEO Mark Davie called on the whole tourism sector to “step up”.

“We can’t just sit back and say we’re disappointed,” he said.

Cathay Pacific has not provided a reason for its decision.