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Air New Zealand’s alliance with Virgin Australia goes direct to Sunshine Coast

23/02/2012

Kiwis will be able fly to the heart of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast this winter with Air New Zealand launching the first international service into Sunshine Coast Airport as part of its trans Tasman alliance with Virgin Australia.

The new direct service between Auckland and the Sunshine Coast will operate twice a week on Tuesdays and Sundays on a seasonal basis between 1 July and 18 September. It will utilise an A320 aircraft offering a ‘Seats to Suit’ fare structure and seamless connections to the domestic and international networks of Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe says, “Every year almost a hundred thousand New Zealand leisure travellers arrive in Brisbane and make the 100km plus drive north to the popular Sunshine Coast beach resorts such as Noosa, Coolum, Mooloolaba and Maroochydore. This new service will cut down their travelling time by eliminating the commute from Brisbane Airport which can be more than two hours.

“There’s a long tradition of Kiwi travellers heading to Queensland for some winter sun so while we’re trialling this new service on a seasonal basis between July and mid September it may be possible to extend the season if there’s enough demand.”

Sunshine Coast Council Acting Mayor Tim Dwyer says the service will mark the first-ever international scheduled passenger services to and from Sunshine Coast Airport. “The first of July 2012 will be a historic day in the Sunshine Coast aviation calendar and for the Coast overall.

“Not only will this service connect the Sunshine Coast directly with our biggest international market but also gives Sunshine Coast people the opportunity to connect via Auckland to destinations in the United States and beyond. We are truly entering a whole new chapter for tourism and economic activity.”

The direct flight to Sunshine Coast Airport at Maroochydore is on sale now with introductory fares from NZ$149 one way ex Auckland available for sale until 2 March.