More Air New Zealand flights coming to Cairns
More New Zealand tourists will be able to get to the Far North with additional Air New Zealand flights added to regional Queensland airport schedules.
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said year-round trans-Tasman flights had been secured for Cairns, and the Sunshine and Gold Coasts.
“The deal we’ve sealed with Air New Zealand is great news for Kiwi travellers and Queensland tourism operators,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“By extending direct flights through to May 2022 from Auckland and Christchurch we expect to support almost 250 jobs and deliver at least $17 million to Queensland’s visitor economy.
“The new flights add more than 26,000 seats to the flight schedules of three regional international airports as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to helping tourism to rebuild better.
“It’s part of our investment of more than $860 million in direct support for the tourism industry’s Economic Recovery Plan.
Member for Cairns and Assistant Tourism Minister Michael Healy said the extended flight schedule followed $10 million in the Budget for securing aviation routes.
“Queensland’s Good to Go campaign has been screening across the ditch,” Mr Healy said.
“The iconic images of reef snorkelling and rainforests can be experienced in real life - here in Cairns - within just a few hours of departing Auckland.”
Extended scheduled seasonal services with Air New Zealand include Auckland to Cairns, Auckland to the Sunshine Coast and Christchurch to the Gold Coast.
Air New Zealand General Manager Sales Australia Paul McLean said the airline is delighted to be able to offer its customers year-round access to some of Queensland’s most popular destinations.
“In 2019, around 500,000 trips were taken from New Zealand to Queensland, and Air New Zealand flew around half of these customers,” he said.
“We know Kiwis love to escape to Queensland’s warmer climes during the cooler winter months, and many Australians already take advantage of the ski season in New Zealand.
For Queenslanders, extending to year-round direct services means good connections onto our domestic network and the chance to explore other parts of the country during the shoulder season.”
Cairns Airport Chief Executive Richard Barker said the new year-round services would provide further opportunity to really grow connectivity between Cairns and Auckland.
“Year-round services will provide the opportunity to significantly increase the number of NZ visitors to the Far North every week,” he said.
“The support of the Queensland Government in securing these flights will encourage many of our friends across the Tasman to come and experience the magic of Tropical North Queensland.
“These flights are an important step in the support and recovery of the Far North’s economy.”
Before the pandemic, Kiwis contributed $600 million to Queensland’s visitor economy.
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