Air New Zealand schedules extra flights for 2016
  • Wednesday 04 November 2015

In another sign of the ongoing success of Air New Zealand's Sunshine Coast-Auckland flight services, the carrier has announced extra flights for the 2016 season.

Air New Zealand will grow the number of weekly flights from three to four in the peak season.  Flights will operate from July 1 to the end of October with the increased services between July 11 and July 31 as well as September 26 to October 16.

During the peak season, flights will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Air New Zealand has operated flights to and from the Sunshine Coast since 2012 using its Airbus A320 aircraft. The service is part of its trans-Tasman alliance with Virgin Australia.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia had continued to show great confidence in the Auckland-Sunshine Coast route.

“This commitment by Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia is terrific news for our tourism industry with New Zealanders now having even greater direct access to our Sunshine Coast and its outstanding range of accommodation options and tourist attractions,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The increase in weekly flights next year represents a 10% increase in capacity and comes on top of Air New Zealand’s decision earlier this year to extend direct flights between the Sunshine Coast and Auckland to eight months of the year, including over the highly popular Christmas-New Year break."

Mayor Jamieson said figures showed that the trans-Tasman flights were worth around $20 million to the regional economy last year.

“The ongoing interest in Sunshine Coast as a destination continues to grow,” he said.

“These extra trans-Tasman flights also offer locals more options to conveniently fly from our local airport to Auckland and then connect with a range of Air New Zealand international destinations, including the airline’s new route to Buenos Aires, Argentina.”

Sunshine Coast Destination CEO Simon Ambrose said the tourism industry was thrilled with the news and says the success of the Air New Zealand, Auckland to Sunshine Coast route speaks for itself.

“New Zealand is one of the largest international source markets for the Sunshine Coast with 58,000 visitors making the trip across the ditch to the year ending June 2015,” Mr Ambrose said.

“This news is just reward for the work Sunshine Coast Destination continues to do in the New Zealand market.

“Not only have we just launched an innovative digital campaign in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland but we have also this week, run a mission visiting Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch with seven Sunshine Coast tourism operators to meet with over 300 wholesale and retail travel agents.

“These initiatives are designed to drive demand for visiting the region and support the Air New Zealand flight service to the Sunshine Coast.”