Direct travel between Dunedin and Australia is increasing.
Over the last few summers Virgin Australia has been operating
direct flights between Dunedin, Melbourne and Sydney in
addition to the year-round Brisbane service.
This season, seat capacity on the Sydney and Melbourne
flights has increased, and so too has the number of people
flying on the two routes.
In December, the eight Sydney and Melbourne flights each week
were 70% full on average.
There were a total of 5984 seats available, of which 4189
In December 2012, the direct Sydney and Melbourne flights had
a total combined capacity of 5633 seats, of which 61% (3437)
Direct Dunedin-Brisbane flights in December were also 67%
occupied on average.
Of the 6336 seats available on the eight flights each week,
4281 were bought.
Overall, taking into account all direct Dunedin and Australia
flights, there were 1009 more seats available and 712 more
passengers in December 2013 than a year earlier.
Dunedin International Airport chief executive John McCall
said it was pleasing to see the additional capacity utilised,
which showed there was strong demand for the direct flights.
''We hope to see this continue with the Dunedin-Brisbane
flights over the rest of the year,'' he said.