Never shy of a new adventure, Newcastle's famous Fren Family has led the charge to tropical Queensland aboard the first flight from Newcastle to Cairns.
Mark and Cathy Fren, along with their children Victoria and Jonathon were among 180 passengers who escaped from a soggy Hunter winter aboard the Jetstar flight on Wednesday afternoon.
"This new Jetstar connection to Cairns means we will be in Tropical Queensland in 2 hours 45 minutes! With no time waiting for connections or driving to Sydney we can add almost a full day to our holiday," Newcastle Airport ambassador Mark Fren said.
"This trip we are taking our newly extended family, following Jono and Danielle's wedding.
"We'll be touring the Reef and riding the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. We just can't wait to share our experiences with everyone back home."
Cairns-bound flights will leave the Hunter at 10.25am on Mondays, 3.15pm on Wednesdays and 6.45pm on Saturdays.
Return flights will leave Queensland 7.10am on Mondays, 2.35pm on Wednesdays and 3.30pm on Saturdays.
The service means the route, which will be served by A320s, will serve up to 6000 passengers each month.
Newcastle Airport chief executive Peter Cock said the Hunter travellers had shown great enthusiasm for the route.
"We were always confident that the people of our region would use this new direct service but the take up has surpassed our expectations," he said.
"The service is currently scheduled for 15 weeks, until 4 October 2021.
"If ticket sales continue to grow, we hope the flights can be extended beyond October."
Jetstar Group chief executive Gareth Evans said Jetstar was excited to link two of the country's most spectacular tourist destinations.
"Newcastle has become one of NSW's most sought after holiday destinations, with its beautiful coastline and reputation as a lively culinary and artistic hub," Mr Evans said.
"Cairns is consistently one of the most popular destinations in our network, so we expect this to be a very popular route in both directions
"These new flights are not only great news for our customers wanting to explore new places, it will also provide a boost in tourism for both cities which is great for local businesses."
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