9 July 2022

MEDIA RELEASE

Air New Zealand returns to Sunshine Coast Airport 

Air New Zealand today recommenced direct flights between Auckland and Sunshine Coast, with the first service touching down at 12:10pm amid a welcome event including gifts and entertainment for arriving passengers.

Today marked the re-start of trans-Tasman travel direct between Auckland and Sunshine Coast, without international border restrictions for Australian and New Zealand citizens.

The first international service to arrive on Sunshine Coast Airport’s 13/31 runway this year, Air New Zealand will operate flights each Monday and Saturday until 15 October.

The arrival of this service provides more than 8,000 seats between the two destinations for the duration of the season and will operate on an A320 or A320neo aircraft.

Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Andrew Brodie said the service couldn’t return at a better time, as the world continues to reopen, and people become more comfortable travelling internationally.

“Today we say Kia Ora to our cousins from across the Tasman and welcome them with open arms to reconnect with family, colleagues or to enjoy a well-earned getaway.

“We are confident with travel restrictions easing across the world, that our international passengers will see the Sunshine Coast as a desirable location to visit thanks to our pristine location, and array of natural assets.

“It also gives Sunshine Coast residents, including the many Kiwis that call the region home, the chance to fly out of their local airport to Auckland and connect with other trans-Tasman destinations such as Queenstown and Dunedin.

“We are seeing strong demand for the service both ways, evident today from the first inbound service being at capacity”.

The return of this service excitingly aligns with Air New Zealand’s direct flights between Auckland and New York, commencing from 17 September.

“From The Big Pineapple to The Big Apple, locals will be able to travel from their home airport direct to The City that Never Sleeps through Auckland, Andrew Brodie said.

Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty is thrilled to see the Auckland – Sunshine Coast route reopen.

“It’s fantastic to be able to offer New Zealanders the opportunity to escape the cold and Queenslanders the opportunity to get to our slopes and soon connect onto our direct service to New York. We can’t wait to help Aussies get out to explore on our domestic and international network.”

Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Matt Stoeckel said the region’s tourism industry was excited to welcome Kiwis back to the Sunshine Coast.

“Prior to the pandemic, New Zealand was our number one international market with 84,000 annual visitors, 650,000 room nights, and an economic value of $110 million,” he said.

“We know there is huge pent-up demand in New Zealand for international travel, and the fact the direct service to Sunshine Coast Airport covers our traditionally quieter winter and autumn seasons will provide a sustained boost for the Sunshine Coast tourism industry.”

Tourism Noosa CEO Melanie Anderson said “The return of the direct flights from New Zealand to the Sunshine Coast is wonderful news and we look forward to welcoming our kiwi friends back to Noosa and the Sunshine Coast.”

ENDS

For further information

Contact: Sunshine Coast Airport Corporate Communications

media@sunshinecoastairport.com.au

(07) 5373 1901

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