Air New Zealand and trans-Tasman alliance partner Virgin Australia, have extended non-stop Auckland-Sunshine Coast seasonal services which will significantly boost holiday and conference business for the Sunshine Coast.
The season adds capacity to the recently increased winter schedule from June 26 to October 25, 2015 by introducing a summer season from December 13, 2015 to February 28, 2016, increasing the total number of seats available into and out of Sunshine Coast Airport by 81% over the 2014 season.
Air New Zealand has operated flights since 2012 using its A320 aircraft. The service is part of its trans-Tasman alliance with Virgin Australia.
Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd CEO Simon Ambrose said Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia had continued to show great confidence in the Auckland-Sunshine Coast route, building it to 76 return flights over the 2015/16 season.
“We welcome this exciting announcement by Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia. This is a testament to the strong marketing activity we are doing ‘across the ditch’ and our targeted campaigns are showing results,” Mr Ambrose said.
“New Zealand is the number one international market for the Sunshine Coast.
“The region welcomed over 60,000 New Zealand visitors to the year ending September 2014, an 18.4% increase (compared to 2013).
“The timing of this announcement is ideal as Sunshine Coast Destination will launch the largest marketing campaign to date in New Zealand later this month.
“While the increased direct flights will have its greatest impact in the holiday market, we are also expecting to grow conference and incentive business. The market has increased very encouragingly over the past year, but with increased flights and longer lead times we have the potential to attract even more business events – from small group incentives through to larger scale conferences.”