Air New Zealand will increase flights between Auckland and Sunshine Coast Airport next year, extending its current seasonal service by ten weeks and bringing more than 2,000 new seats to the route.
The extended season will commence on 12 April 2020, and has had support through the Queensland Government’s Attracting Aviation Investment Fund.
Sunshine Coast Airport Chief Executive, Andrew Brodie, said the extended season builds on the strong success of the existing Auckland service and was well timed to coincide with the Easter holidays.
“New Zealand is the largest source of international visitors to the Sunshine Coast, so the additional flights will be great news for the region’s tourism industry as well as the strong population of Kiwis who call Sunshine Coast home,” Mr Brodie said.
“With seamless connections, there is a fantastic opportunity to further grow key visitor markets beyond New Zealand, particularly the USA which saw 29 percent growth in the 12 months ending June 2019.
“It also gives Sunshine Coast residents the opportunity to fly out of their local airport to Auckland and connect with other trans-Tasman destinations such as Queenstown and Dunedin.
“It also provides seamless travel to trans-Atlantic cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Vancouver and Buenos Aires without the inconvenience and cost of having to tackle the Bruce Highway to Brisbane.”
Mr Brodie said Sunshine Coast Airport was Australia’s fastest growing airport, and the extended Air New Zealand service would help meet passenger demand in advance of increased capacity as a result of the launch of the new runway at the end of 2020.
“With record number of New Zealand visitors, growing 19.5 percent for the year ending in June, we expect continued demand for the Sunshine Coast from across the Tasman, driven by our enviable climate, natural and adventure attractions, and strong program of events,” Mr Brodie said.
“It is great to bring this extra capacity on line before the new runway opens, and after that the sky is the limit in terms of growing existing and new destinations.”
Air New Zealand’s seasonal international service between Sunshine Coast and Auckland began in 2012 with 5,734 passengers for the season and has grown to 19,078 passengers in 2018.