Qantas to add more New Zealand flights to boost holiday season travel

By @diplomatist10 on
Passengers board a Qantas Airways Boeing 737-800 plane from the tarmac of the Coolangatta Airport, also called Gold Coast Airport, in this picture taken October 25, 2014. Reuters/David Gray

Anticipating strong demand in the upcoming summer season at trans Tasman routes, Qantas Airlines is adding 95 new return services to New Zealand for leveraging the peak travel period. Estimates show that the decline in dollar at both sides of the Tasman has not affected purchasing power and it is giving a boost to domestic travel in New Zealand as well as Australia.

The new services will be exclusive of the 15 seasonal services from Sydney to Christchurch and Queenstown. Among the new services are 48 return flights between Brisbane and Christchurch and 36 return services between Brisbane and Wellington that will fly from December 3 to February 22, 2016. According to Stephen Thompson, Qantas' executive manager for international sales, the new seasonal flights became possible because of the "support of the teams at Brisbane, Christchurch and Wellington airports."

Boost for tourism

The major airports in New Zealand have welcomed the new services on the ground that it will boost tourism. Wellington Airport Chief Executive Steve Sanderson noted that the service will provide new flight options at competitive fares. “Competition is exciting for travelers and we expect huge demand for the new Qantas service to Brisbane. It will be the only full service airline on one of our most popular holiday destinations at its busiest time of year,” he noted.

Christchurch Airport's Chief Commercial Officer Justin Watson said the extra flights will add 16,128 seats between Christchurch and Brisbane, which will be more than 12 percent, compared to the corresponding period in 2014. The senior officials at Wellington and Christchurch airports also noted that the new services will benefit travelers flying beyond the Tasman with onward connections readily available for Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Los Angeles.

Qantas is also adding more capacity to South East Asia. It will be introducing a daily flight from Perth to Singapore from November 30 to February 21, 2016 and a fifth weekly service between Sydney and Jakarta from December 7 to January 10, 2016. Over all,the  extra capacity will see 140 more flights from Qantas between December and February.

Virgin Australia flights

Meanwhile, competitor Virgin Australia is also adding more flights to New Zealand. The airline said its extra services will target sectors of Melbourne and Christchurch and Brisbane and Auckland, Dunedin, Wellington and Christchurch. Virgin also plans to fly more services to the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Samoa. These increases represent more than 52,000 additional seats on trans-Tasman and Pacific routes during the 2016 financial year. Virgin Australia chief executive John Borghetti made these announcements while releasing its full year results.

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