Record numbers of passengers travelled through Queenstown
Airport during the festive period, with a huge year-on-year
increase in overseas passengers and high demand for parking
The airport corporation yesterday told the Otago Daily Times
it expected international passenger numbers would be up 50%
in December 2012 compared with December 2011, about an extra
7000 people arriving or departing the resort.
The holiday period delayed the collation of statistics and
exact numbers, including domestic passengers will be out next
week, the corporation said.
Air New Zealand increased capacity on direct services between
Auckland and Queenstown by 32% this summer, including the
addition of a fifth daily flight between the two centres,
giving travellers a choice of direct services roughly every
The increase to five services per day, as well as the
increased use of larger Airbus A320 aircraft on some services
which had previously been provided with a Boeing 737
aircraft, took the total number of seats available on direct
services over summer to 5200 each way, per week.
Total passenger numbers on the route have grown by 70% over
the past five years and the trend is continuing, the national
carrier told the ODT.
Jetstar described passenger loads over summer as ''positive''
on both transtasman and domestic services. Demand was
particularly strong between Sydney and Queenstown.
''Queenstown is a key destination for Jetstar because it is a
year-round leisure resort that appeals to a wide range of
travel markets,'' a spokesman told the ODT.
The Melbourne-based Qantas subsidiary added one extra return
flight each week from Melbourne and Sydney to Queenstown in
November last year.
The two new transtasman services operate on Saturdays,
leaving Australia in the morning and arriving mid-afternoon.
The services increased transtasman seats by 600 per week to
2000 per week on Jetstar.
The airline now offers more than 10,000 domestic and
international seats on a weekly basis to and from Queenstown.
There are three Sydney-Queenstown services per week, up from
two per week, while Melbourne-Queenstown operates four times
per week, up from three per week.
Auckland to Queenstown flies 16 times per week and
Wellington-Queenstown flies seven times per week.
As well as the direct services, Jetstar also offers
connecting flights to Queenstown from Perth, the Gold Coast
Queenstown Airport chief executive Scott Paterson said the
resort and the region were ''very busy'' during the Christmas
and New Year period. The impact was seen throughout the
''All parts of the airport are reporting strong demand -
scheduled airlines, helicopters, flight-seeing, rental,
retailers, but I expect there would be the same message
coming from town.
''It was not only busy with commercial jets, but also for
''We were concerned pre-Christmas that we would not be able
to accommodate all the corporate jet bookings over the
Christmas-New Year period, but the team at the airport did a
great job and by parking the larger corporate jets on the
commercial jet stands, and a couple of smaller jets on the
grass, we met everyone's needs.''