Air New Zealand
is to introduce a second weekly Sydney – Queenstown flight, every Tuesday from 6 July, 2004.
The airline is also considering a third weekly flight on the route during the
peak ski season, and will reintroduce the popular Brisbane – Queenstown
services for an 11 week period during the ski season.
In addition, Air New Zealand has foreshadowed the introduction of a weekly
Melbourne – Queenstown flight during the ski season, subject to Queenstown Airport resolving operational constraints.
And from March 2004, the current weekly flight from Sydney to Queenstown,
which operates every Saturday, will be upgraded from a 114 seat Boeing 737-300 to a brand new
146 seat Airbus A320 - a 28 per cent increase in seats per flight.
Air New Zealand Vice President Australia, Mr Paul Donovan, said the airline
was committed to developing the Queenstown route, and was excited about the extra services.
"With an extra Sydney direct flight and the introduction of A320 aircraft we're
effectively increasing our capacity on the Sydney - Queenstown route by 256%,” said Mr Donovan.
"The introduction of a third weekly service from Sydney during the peak ski
season worked well in 2003 and it is looking promising that we will continue
this for the 2004 season,” he said.
"We will again have a Saturday Brisbane to Queenstown service for the 11
week peak period of the ski season from 10 July - 18 September and the introduction of a new Melbourne to Queenstown service for the same period
is also looking promising, subject to the resolution of operational constraints
at Queenstown airport.”
The increased flights from Australia follow a recent expansion of services
from Auckland to Queenstown, with a third direct service on the route six
days a week. This has boosted Air New Zealand flights between the centres
from 14 to 230 flights per week, increasing the carrier’s capacity on the route
by 40 per cent.
“The extra flights from Australia to Queenstown, our plan to replace Boeing
737s with larger Airbus aircraft and our recent increase in flights from
Auckland all add up to a significant increase not just in capacity, but in
commitment to Queenstown,” said Mr Donovan.