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Air NewZealand’s Hobart service to begin this month

Air NewZealand has finally revealed details about the long awaited route to Hobart.

Just a few days ago, NewZealand announced a travel bubble with Australia. Soon after, Air NewZealand announced flights to Australia but at that time, the airline did not reveal the dates of Hobart route. However, on 10th April, the carrier finally announced the same.

Service set to begin from 22nd April

Air NewZealand’s flights between Auckland and Hobart will start from 22nd April. The airline will use its A320 fleet to operate these twice-weekly services to Hobart in Tasmania.

Flight schedule of Auckland-Hobart-Auckland route:

  • Auckland-Hobart
  • Departure time: 09:00
  • Arrival time: 11:00
  • Flight time: 4 hours
  • Flight number: NZ197
  • Frequency: Thursdays and Sundays
  • Hobart-Auckland
  • Departure time: 12:30
  • Arrival time: 18:00
  • Flight time: 3 hours and 30 minutes
  • Flight number: NZ198
  • Frequency: Thursdays and Sundays

All times are local and the flights are already on sale.

Once this Hobart route kicks off, Air NewZealand will be the only airline flying nonstop between Auckland and all Australian state capital cities.

Greg Foran, Chief Executive Officer, Air NewZealand, said:

It’s really exciting to be launching a new route alongside reopening our other Australian ports after a year of being predominantly a domestic airline. Hobart offers a range of experiences that differ from the rest of Australia and there is much more to see beyond the city. It has a dynamic art and culture scene, and its stunning walks and landscapes are world-renowned.

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein in a statement said:

Tasmania welcomed 25,000 visitors per year from New Zealand prior to COVID-19, so we only expect this to increase without the requirement to transit via the mainland. Tasmania has some of the best tourism experiences in the world. I’m sure New Zealanders will be very keen to fly directly here.

Hobart finally gets an international service after 23 years

Air New Zealand’s re-emergence in Hobart has been a long time coming for the airport. The Kiwi airline axed its weekly flight from Christchurch in 1998. Since then, Hobart’s international terminal has largely been unused.

Hobart Airport estimates the flights will contribute US$91 million in direct tourism benefits to Tasmania.

Air NewZealand says that ‘this non-stop service opens a direct link between 540,000 potential Tasmanian tourists’. One of the main reasons that Hobart Airport has been unloved by international airlines is that Melbourne is just a short one-hour flight away. Airlines were happy to connect their Tasmanian passengers through Melbourne. A lot of passengers were also happy to connect using the superior facilities at Melbourne Airport.

Once international travel resumes, Melbourne might see some of those connecting passengers choose to go through Auckland Airport, especially if they are bound for the Americas.

Well, it will be interesting whether Air NewZealand will be able to fill passengers on flights to Hobart and whether the route has the momentum and dollars to keep the airline on it.

Featured image by Bloomberg

What do you think of Air NewZealand’s new service to Hobart? Let me know in the comments section below.

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