Virgin Australia announced two additional direct flights from Melbourne and Brisbane will start operating next year, boosting tourism to Uluru.
The new services, launched in partnership with the Northern Territory Government and Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia (operators of Ayers Rock Resort), will inject more than 62,000 seats per year to the Red Centre, connecting tourists directly to Australia’s spiritual heartland while providing more choice and value to travellers.
The new services will also help the Indigenous Tourism industry flourish, contributing to the Northern Territory’s more than $3 billion visitor expenditure.
The New York Times named Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park one of the world’s top 52 places to travel to this year. The region is home to several internationally known tourism experiences, including the acclaimed Field of Light Installation, the new Wintjiri Wiru cultural storytelling experience, and an array of arts and cultural tours for visitors of all ages.
Jayne Hrdlicka, CEO of Virgin Australia, said everyone should visit Uluru for its cultural significance and natural beauty.
“Uluru is a special place in Australia and a cultural landmark that identifies this wonderful country. We look forward to once again connecting Australians and international tourists alike to the spiritual heartland of Australia,” said Ms Hrdlicka.” We are excited to reconnect Australians and international tourists to Australia’s spiritual heartland. “
“We are also thrilled to announce that we are now offering direct flights to Uluru from Melbourne and Brisbane for the first time.” The forecast demand from these cities and excellent connectivity from our international airline partners will provide the region with a much-needed tourism boost. Greater market competition and more seat capacity to Uluru will also give visitors more choices and value the next time they fly to the Red Centre.
“We carried over 19 million passengers domestically last year, and we are excited to be adding more destinations to our network that connect Australians and open a new gateway of travel between our most popular tourist destinations and the world,” she said.
“Territorians appreciated Virgin Australia’s support in showcasing significant tourist attractions to local and international tourists,” said NT Minister for Tourism and Hospitality Joel Bowden.
“The Territory Labour Government is proud to welcome Virgin Australia back to Uluru. “This exciting development was made possible with the Territory Aviation Attraction Scheme and Voyages’ strong partnership, which underpins the Territory Government’s commitment to develop aviation access throughout the Territory.
“Uluru is a must-do destination and a preferred destination for our international markets. Today’s announcement will also increase connectivity for those international visitors travelling through Melbourne and Brisbane.”
Matt Cameron-Smith, CEO of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, said that Virgin Australia’s return to the nation’s spiritual heart represents significant progress for tourism to Central Australia, particularly for Indigenous employment, tourism and training at Ayers Rock Resort, Uluru.
“Whether it’s still on the bucket list or a much-loved destination, visiting Uluru is a must-do for international and Australian travellers. These new routes deliver more travel choices to the NT and an abundance of convenient international connections through Virgin Australia’s global network of partners,” continued Cameron-Smith. “Demand to visit Uluru is incredibly strong – driven by a wealth of amazing cultural experiences, including the world-first $10 million cultural drone and storytelling experience, Wintjiri Wiru – and we can’t wait to roll out the red carpet for Virgin Australia’s return to the Red Centre.”
The first flights will depart on 6 June 2024, giving travellers ample time to experience the Northern Territory’s peak tourism season (May to October).