25 June 2023
Sunshine Coast Airport says ‘Kia Ora’ as Air New Zealand returns to the Coast
Sunshine Coast Airport has today welcomed back Air New Zealand, celebrating the return of direct international services.
The seasonal service operates three times a week (Sunday, Wednesday, Friday) until 15 October, flying direct between Auckland and the Sunshine Coast, providing 16,000 seats between the two destinations.
Arriving passengers were greeted by local culinary event the Curated Plate and MooloolaBARS, native animals from Wildlife HQ, and giveaways from Aussie World, presenting travellers with a small taste of what the region has to offer.
Sunshine Coast Airport General Manager Aviation and Commercial, Scott Norris, welcomed the first international passengers of 2023 and said the return of Air New Zealand was exciting news for holiday makers, unlocking both high-value tourism and business opportunities for the region.
“I would like to say Kia Ora to our friends from across the Tasman as we welcome Air New Zealand back to Sunshine Coast Airport,” Mr Norris said.
“The Sunshine Coast and Noosa are two incredible locations blessed with pristine beaches, natural beauty, amazing restaurants, and incredible experiences – it is important we showcase it to the world.
“The return of Air New Zealand will connect Coast locals, many of whom are from New Zealand, with friends and family across the Tasman, while also unlocking travel destinations in North America, Asia, and the world.”
Sunshine Coast Airport Interim CEO Gary Allen said the Airport was now connecting more people and places than ever before.
“We have a long friendship with Air New Zealand and with today’s inbound flight nearing capacity, it shows just how desirable our region is to the world,” Mr Allen said.
“We have seen record passenger numbers over the last twelve months and, with Air New Zealand now back with us, I’m excited to see what the future holds.”
Air New Zealand General Manager Kathryn O’Brien said the direct route between Auckland and the Sunshine Coast has always been a popular one for travellers over Winter.
“Whether it’s welcoming our friends from across the ditch to the NZ ski slopes or bringing our Kiwi locals over to your incredible beaches to thaw out, we’re excited to be welcoming our wonderful customers on board on this route in 2023 and connecting two such amazing destinations once again.”
Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Matt Stoeckel said in anticipation of the direct flights we have been letting the Kiwis know they can “Fly to Sunshine by Lunchtime” through our latest campaign with AirNZ (in partnership with Sunshine Coast Airport and Tourism Noosa).
“It’s all about enticing the Kiwis to escape a chilly winter to enjoy all the experiences we have on offer across Sunshine Coast,” Mr Stoeckel said.
“When you consider that our ocean temperature in winter is what Kiwis on the North Island enjoy in the middle of summer, you can see why coming here for a winter escape is a no-brainer!”
Tourism Noosa Acting CEO Susan Ewington said Noosa is excited to welcome back Air New Zealand’s direct flights to Sunshine Coast Airport, which is just 30 minutes from Noosa.
“New Zealand had been an important source market for Noosa, particularly over the winter months, which had grown considerably in the few years before the pandemic,” Ms Ewington said.
“New Zealand had cemented itself in the top two international markets for Noosa, spending around $25m in the region each year, so we’re looking forward to welcoming Kiwi visitors back to our beaches, river and hinterland villages and to enjoy the many unique experiences on offer in Noosa.
“The direct flights are also great timing to visit Noosa and enjoy our winter and spring events calendar, with some great sporting, food and cultural events coming up including the 10-day Noosa Alive arts and cultural festival; Floating Land, Australia’s premiere arts-in-the-environment event; the Noosa Enduro and Noosa Classic cycling events through the beautiful Noosa hinterland and the Noosa Open Studio arts trail, just to name a few”.
About Sunshine Coast Airport
Forecast to welcome more than 1.6 million passengers in 2023/24, Sunshine Coast Airport is one of the fastest growing and is also the first and only airport in Australia to hold Level 3+ Carbon Neutrality status. When the airport is fully developed, total direct employment at the Airport is expected to grow from 530 to 1300 direct jobs. The Airport will also support up to 5,500 jobs and inject up to $396 million annually to Queensland’s GSP in the tourism and supply chain industries once development is completed.
Sunshine Coast Airport Pty Ltd operates and manages Sunshine Coast Airport, the gateway to the Sunshine Coast and Noosa regions, under a 99-year lease from Sunshine Coast Council which commenced in December 2017.
Sunshine Coast Airport services 16 destinations including Adelaide, Albury, Auckland, Avalon, Cairns, Coffs Harbour, Mackay, Melbourne, Mildura, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Rockhampton, Sydney, Tamworth, Townsville and Whitsunday Coast.
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For further information:
Contact: Sunshine Coast Airport Corporate Communications
(07) 5373 1901