Australia’s very first direct low-cost flight to South Korea took off yesterday with the launch of Jetstar’s new thrice-weekly Gold Coast to Seoul route.

The new route is operated in partnership with JeJu Air on board a two-class Jetstar Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.

Jetstar Group CEO Gareth Evans said the low-fares service will open up South Korea to more travellers making it the next must-visit Asian destination for thousands of Australians.

“With the number of Australians travelling to Korea increasing by 24% in the last five years we knew this service would be popular and that’s certainly been the case – bookings have been really strong.”

Jetstar Group CEO Gareth Evans

“We know from experience that low-cost flights have a strong influence on setting tourism trends and in markets like Japan the number of Australian visitors has doubled since we first launched flights in 2007,” he said.

“We expect to see a similar trend with our flights to Seoul.”

He said the new route also marked the Gold Coast as a natural entry point for South Korean tourists visiting Australia.

Jetstar 787-9 Dreamliner

Jetstar 787-9 Dreamliner

“South Koreans travel more per capita than any other country in the Asia Pacific and rank Australia at the top country they want to visit,” he said.

“So it’s great to be able to offer the first direct, low fares service between the two countries to support demand and grow local tourism opportunities”.

“We expect our new service will contribute up to $170 million to the Queensland economy over the next three years, and with Jetstar connections to seven other major Australian cities, South Koreans are now able to enjoy the Gold Coast as the perfect place to start their holiday in Australia.”