The success of international Air New Zealand flights to and from Auckland in 2012 and 2013 has resulted in a strong commitment from the airline for future direct services. Over the next three years, the length of seasonal services will be extended and frequency increased.
The 2014 season will again run from June to October, with three flights a week during the peak period on Sundays, Tuesdays and a new Friday service added. The remainder of the season offers twice weekly flights on Sundays and Fridays.
Next year will involve 42 return trips over 17 weeks, with the 2015/16 season extending to 28 weeks and the 2016/17 season at 30 weeks from June to January.
Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey welcomed the extension of Air New Zealand’s seasonal service from Auckland to the Sunshine Coast for another three years.
“The Queensland Government established the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund to enhance existing aviation partnerships and secure new airline business into Queensland. Through this fund the Queensland Government can support extended seasonal Air New Zealand flights.
“New Zealand is Queensland’s number one international market and the increased services to the Sunshine Coast will help Queensland achieve its goal of doubling annual overnight visitor expenditure from $15 billion to $30 billion by 2020.”
Air New Zealand’s Group General Manager New Zealand and Pacific Islands Cam Wallace says the introduction of further capacity on the route demonstrates the anticipated growth between these two popular tourist destinations.
“Sunshine Coast has been a real success story. Since the inaugural service in 2012 we’ve grown capacity each year to the point where we will offer 75 per cent more seats in 2014 than we did when the service launched. Next year we’ll offer close to 13,000 seats between the two ports, compared with 7500 seats during the inaugural 2012 season.
“Kiwis have embraced the opportunity to escape to the Sunshine Coast’s golden beaches over the winter months while Sunshine Coast travellers have welcomed the chance to reach New Zealand direct from their local Sunshine Coast Airport.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the new season announcements showed strong confidence in the value of the Auckland-Sunshine Coast route.
“I am very pleased to see Air New Zealand continuing to increase its investment in this substantial market for international tourism here. Based on the 2013 season, the airline has grown the route in both directions, which is great news,” he said.
“The total direct expenditure in the region by visitors for the 2013 season was estimated to be $9 million, with the overall economic impact $22M. The direct spend is anticipated to grow to $54M over the next three years, with the overall economic impact estimated at $132M.
“New Zealand is our largest overseas tourism market with Kiwis visiting the Coast annually contributing to around 25% of our overall international visitor numbers.
“While we are still seeing a majority of passengers inbound from New Zealand, the new weekend flights will prove attractive to those seeking a weekend away for a winter holiday or to visit relatives in Auckland,” he said.
The 2014 season commences on Friday 27 June – Book flights at www.airnewzealand.com.au