By James Wilkinson
In the wake of increased competition on the lucrative Australia-Queenstown route, Air New Zealand has boosted services to the resort town over the off-peak summer period.
Air NZ has increased Queenstown flights
Air New Zealand deputy CEO Norm Thompson said the airline would launch a weekly Brisbane-Queenstown summer service, along with extra flights from both Melbourne and Sydney following the end of ski season.
“I’m pleased to announce that we’ll be trialling a weekly Brisbane-Queenstown service in peak summer months, which will operate from mid-December through to the end of January,” Thompson said.
He said the airline would be extending its Melbourne-Queenstown schedule, which currently operates once a week in December and January, right through to the end of March.
“In addition, we will continue to operate two trips per week on the Sydney-Queenstown route from mid-October to the end of November, where previously over this period there was a seasonal reduction to one trip per week,” he said. “These services will operate Tuesday and Saturdays.”
The increased services come as Pacific Blue prepares to launch Sydney-Queenstown flights in September, which has seen the cost of flying on the route to just $250 each way.
Queenstown remains a popular destination for both MICE and leisure traffic and the new Pacific Blue flights received a unanimous vote of approval from the region’s leading hoteliers and conference venues.
The picturesque resort town is also the fastest-growing destination for Australian visitors to New Zealand according to Thompson.
“Over the peak winter season Air New Zealand now operates 10 direct services a week compared to three five years ago,” he said.