The Queensland Government has struck a new deal with Air New Zealand to increase flights to Cairns and the Gold Coast.
From April 2020, the airline will fly new A321neo aircraft into Cairns in a bid to attract more American and New Zealand visitors to the region.
Announcing the new flights, Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said they will give thousands of kiwi travellers more of an incentive to choose Cairns, while opening up new markets in North and South America.
“With an improved schedule and new aircraft, Air New Zealand will offer better connectivity to American tourists looking to spend time in Cairns,” she said.
“This is a huge win for local tourism operators.”
Air New Zealand regional general manager for Australia Kathryn Robertson said the changes are fantastic news for travellers on both sides of the Tasman.
“The new seat creates up to seven per cent more usable space compared with the equivalent pitch on the existing A320 fleet, while other customer enhancements include more overhead locker space, a larger 1-inch” inflight entertainment screen and Wi-Fi connectivity offered free of charge.”
Gold Coast flights to attract 10,000 more visitors
Also part of the new agreement, Air New Zealand will also commence additional flights to the Gold Coast, which are expected to bring an extra 10,000 travellers to the city each year.
The Gold Coast flights will increase to seven services a week from April to October and nine services a week during peak periods in July.
Destination Gold Coast CEO Annaliese Battista said the announcement was a testament to the strength of Gold Coast’s appeal as a travel destination.
“New Zealand visitors to the Gold Coast increased 2.8 per cent to 209,000 in the year to June 2019 and remain a vital international inbound source market for the region,” she said.
“Through collaborative partnerships, we endeavour to maintain and increase our Kiwi market share by capitalising on New Zealand’s strong affinity with the Gold Coast.”
Both agreements were supported by the state government’s Attracting Aviation Investment Fund.