A Jetstar flight at the Gold Coast Airport.
A Jetstar flight at the Gold Coast Airport.

Jetstar fights flu with $379 return fare to Japan

SWINE flu has created an unexpected boost for the local tourism industry, with budget airline Jetstar offering flights for as little as $189.50 each way to Japan from the Gold Coast.

The two-for-one ticket offer comes after Jetstar cancelled 16 of its daily services to Tokyo and Osaka from the Gold Coast during May and June after warnings against international travel by the Japanese Government lead to a large number of school groups cancelling planned trips Down Under.

The cheap flights have been welcomed by local tourism bosses who warn that price may not alleviate the health concerns of some travellers.

“Jetstar are doing the right thing by trying to keep up their capacity on these routes that were well-used before the outbreak of swine flu,” said Tweed Tourism boss Phil Villiers.

“But I am not too sure if a cheap ticket price will do anything to alleviate the concerns of most travellers about the disease.

“Backpackers and budget travellers may be the one market where it picks up, because they seem to be more adventurous than those that travel in tour groups.”

The special flights, which are available from July 1 to August 13 and from August 24 to September 30, will see passengers pay $379 or the normal fare for one passenger, to fly return from the Gold Coast to Japan. The sale fares must be booked in pairs and allow the traveller to carry on luggage only or checked baggage can be booked for an additional fee.

Meanwhile, Jetstar will open a one-off passenger lounge at the Gold Coast Airport on Monday.

The unique lounge will have capacity for 120 people and features a range of benefits, including a designated children's play area and children's cinema, complimentary food and beverages, internet access and plasma screens showing movies, music videos and television news.



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