- Friday 26 June 2015
The fourth successful year of non-stop Auckland-Sunshine Coast seasonal flights starts today with Air New Zealand’s first plane of the season to land on the tarmac at Sunshine Coast Airport this morning.
The 2015/16 season offers 81% more seats than 2014 with the added bonus of residents both sides of the Tasman now being able to fly direct between the Coast and Auckland during the popular Christmas-New Year period.
The winter service operates through until October 25, 2015 with the new summer season services available from December 13, 2015 to February 28, 2016.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the commitment by Air New Zealand and trans-Tasman alliance partner Virgin Australia demonstrated their great confidence in the Auckland-Sunshine Coast route.
“New Zealand is the number one international visitor market for the Sunshine Coast and this continued commitment by Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia is a wonderful boost for our tourism industry and indeed, our region,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Kiwis have embraced the opportunity to escape the cooler climates and soak up the sunshine over the past three years.
“The latest International Visitor Survey data released at the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) earlier this week showed New Zealand visitation to the region grew by 18.7% in 2014. Having 34 additional return flights in this season will really help in growing those figures.”
The extended season and extra available seats will not only benefit the tourism industry on the Sunshine Coast but will also broaden travel horizons for Sunshine Coast residents direct from their own airport.
Sunshine Coast Airport General Manager Peter Pallot said: “Almost 5% of all Sunshine Coast residents are expat Kiwis. The additional flights give them the opportunity to visit family and friends in New Zealand over the festive season directly from the Sunshine Coast.
“It’s great that our locals have the ability to save time and fly internationally hassle-free from our local airport. This is attractive to all travellers no matter what time of year.
“The weekend timing of the services also means that our rugby-mad locals can head over ‘the ditch’ to watch the Bledisloe Cup live in Auckland; shopaholics can indulge in boutiques and designer stores; and those just looking for a fantastic short break can indulge in the fine food and wine available in the harbour city.”
Flights from the Sunshine Coast to Auckland also provide easy connections to a range of Air New Zealand international destinations, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and beyond.
To book non-stop flights Sunshine Coast – Auckland and beyond visit: www.airnewzealand.com.au.
The extended season has been supported through a successful long-term partnership between Sunshine Coast Council, Sunshine Coast Airport, Tourism and Events Queensland and Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd.
- Sunshine Coast – Auckland flights begin in 2012
- In four years the service has grown from 7500 seats to 23,300 seats in the 2015/16 season
- In 2014, 10,294 10,000 passengers travelled on the service, a 23% increase on 2013
- Flights operate between 26 June - 25 October 2015 and 13 December 2015 - 28 February 2016
- Friday and Sunday flights available throughout the season
- Additional Tuesday flights from 6 July to 11 October 215 and 21 December to 10 January 2016
- In 2014, 67% of total passengers were travelling for a holiday with 27% visiting friends and relatives
- The availability of direct flights influenced more than 80% of passengers to travel