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Air New Zealand increases flights to year-round to three Australian destinations; launches new cargo route

Air New Zealand is expanding flights to three destinations in the Australian state of Queensland. The Auckland-based airline will now serve Gold Coast, Cairns and Sunshine Coast the whole year. Let’s find out more.

More year-round flights

Air New Zealand has announced that it will now serve Gold Coast, Cairns and Sunshine Coast with year-round flights. The boost in flights, announced by Queensland’s Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe, will see existing April through October seasonal services move to year-round flights through to May 2022.

Air New Zealand operates nonstop flights between Auckland and Cairns, Auckland and Sunshine Coast & Christchurch and Gold Coast. Leanne Geraghty, Chief Customer and Sales Officer at Air NewZealand says the new flights will see an additional 26,000 seats available across the three Queensland destinations and marks the first time Kiwi holidaymakers will be able to travel with the airline to the Sunshine Coast year-round.

Leanne said:

Queensland has long been a popular destination for Kiwis looking for a little winter sunshine, and Air New Zealand flew around half of the 500,000 trips taken from New Zealand to Queensland in 2019. Extending to year-round operations means all the experiences Queensland has to offer, be it theme parks, shopping, white sand beaches or the Great Barrier Reef, are now viable options for New Zealanders no matter the month. We know Queenslanders also love to visit New Zealand, with nearly 400,000 crossing the Tasman in 2019 to take advantage of the winter ski season or visit friends and relatives. The additional services and good connections onto our domestic network mean Queenslanders will be able to explore more of New Zealand during the shoulder season.

Stirling Hinchliffe, Tourism Minister of Queensland said Queensland was Good to Go for an unforgettable holiday experience.

Mr Hinchliffe said:

Whether it’s catching up with family and friends or visiting the iconic Queensland destinations you’ve seen on TV, now is time to start planning your trip across the ditch. We’ve been able to move to year-round direct flights across the Tasman because we’ve followed the expert medical advice to make Queensland a safe destination. To make it even easier for Kiwis to enjoy a world-class Queensland holiday experience, Air New Zealand’s extended season flights will be landing on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts, and the Tropical North to get your holiday started sooner. Year-round flights mean Queensland is always Good to Go.

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New Cargo route

Air New Zealand has launched a new cargo route between Melbourne and Los Angeles after the airline was awarded the route as part of the Australian Government’s International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) programme.

The flag carrier of New Zealand will operate once-weekly flights until 31st October 2021, with the first flight already operated on 3rd July 2021. This will be in addition to the Brisbane – Los Angeles flying the airline has been doing since August 2020 under the same scheme.

Anna Palairet, General Manager of Cargo at Air New Zealand said that this will be the first time the airline has flown the route, and with the limited international flying currently happening, adding a new route to the mix is positive. She said:

This service will help Australian exporters get high-value, time-sensitive perishable exports to global markets and assist with importing nationally important goods to Australia. Over the next four months, the route will open the potential for nearly 1000 tonnes to be moved between Melbourne and Los Angeles. We know there is some big cargo demand on this route as it gives Australian exporters and importers another option to move products to and from the US. In fact, the first flight is already pre-sold.

In May, the airline was also awarded more flying under the New Zealand Government’s Maintaining International Air Connectivity (MIAC) scheme.

Anna added:

This scheme has been extended through to October, and we will operate around 30 flights per week to 13 destinations including Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Shanghai, as well as maintaining air connectivity with key ports within the Pacific Islands. Our Cargo team has worked hard to keep products moving for the past 15 months which has also allowed us to bring Kiwis home while international travel is constrained by border closures.

Meanwhile, Air New Zealand recently announced the resumption of flights to Norfolk Islands after the airline had to suspend the services due to border closures.

Featured image by Air New Zealand

What do you think of Air New Zealand ramping up services to three destinations in Queensland and the airline launching a new cargo route to the United States? Let me know in the comments section below.

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