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Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia boost trans-Tasman capacity to Queenstown during ski season


The trans-Tasman alliance of Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia will this year add more than 30,000 extra seats between Queenstown and Australia over the peak winter period of July to September.

The airlines will operate at least five additional return A320 services per week from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney to the popular New Zealand winter destination of Queenstown.

Air New Zealand’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Acting Chief Sales Officer Norm Thompson says the alliance will operate up to 30 direct trans-Tasman services to Queenstown per week during winter, compared with nine weekly services during the ski season just five years ago.

“Year on year growth has placed Queenstown as New Zealand's fastest-growing destination for Australian visitors. This is due in no small part to our significant increase in capacity over time,” says Mr Thompson.

The increased trans-Tasman capacity follows the launch last week of seasonal direct alliance services between Christchurch and the West Australian capital of Perth which will commence in December this year. The new service has been made possible by the trans-Tasman alliance, for which reauthorisation is currently being sought.

Christchurch and Perth is the largest city pair that didn’t previously have a direct alliance service. The West Australian economy continues to grow at a faster rate than the rest of Australia and rebuilding activity is poised to stimulate travel demand within Christchurch and Canterbury.

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