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New direct flights set to boost travel to Uluru

The new flight services will add more than 62,000 seats to the Red Centre per year

Uluru is set for a tourism boost with two new direct services from Melbourne and Brisbane to be introduced this year. 

Launched by Virgin Australia in partnership with the Northern Territory Government and Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia (operators of Ayers Rock Resort), the new services will inject more than 62,000 seats per year to the Red Centre.

The new services will also support the growth of the Indigenous Tourism sector, contributing to the Northern Territory’s more than $3bn visitor expenditure.

In 2023, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park was listed as one of the Top 52 Places to Travel in the world by The New York Times.

The region plays host to a raft of internationally-renowned tourism experiences including the much-loved Field of Light Installation, the new Wintjiri Wiru cultural storytelling experience, and an array of arts and cultural tours for travellers of all ages.

Matt Cameron-Smith, CEO of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia said that the return of Virgin Australia to the spiritual heart of the nation represents significant progress for tourism to Central Australia and 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 alike. These new routes deliver more choice for travel to the NT, but also an abundance of convenient international connections through Virgin Australia’s global network of partners,” Cameron-Smith said.

“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.”

Image by Finn on Unsplash

Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka added that Uluru is somewhere everyone should visit for its cultural significance and natural beauty.

“Uluru is a special place in Australia and a cultural landmark that identifies this wonderful country to the world. We look forward to once again connecting Australians and international tourists alike, to the spiritual heartland of Australia,” Ms Hrdlicka said.

“We are also proud to be offering direct flights to Uluṟu from Melbourne and Brisbane for the first time. The forecast demand from these cities, coupled with excellent connectivity from our international airline partners, will provide a much-needed tourism boost to the region.  Greater competition in the market and more seat capacity to Uluru will also provide travellers with more choice and value next time they fly to the Red Centre.”

NT Minister for Tourism and Hospitality Joel Bowden said Territorians appreciated the support of Virgin Australia showcasing significant tourist attractions to local and overseas visitors.

“The Territory Labor Government is proud to welcome Virgin Australia back to Uluru,” he said. 

“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.”

The first flights are set to depart on June 6, 2024, giving travellers plenty of time to enjoy the Northern Territory’s peak tourism season (May to October).

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