Jetstar has added a new transtasman flight and will fly
Australians directly into Queenstown seven days a week, just
days after a new airline alliance between Qantas and Emirates
opened the resort to tourists from Europe, the Middle East
Jetstar Australia and New Zealand chief executive David Hall
told the Otago Daily Times yesterday the airline had
scheduled a new permanent Saturday Sydney-Queenstown return
service starting on August 24.
It would bring the number of permanent Jetstar transtasman
flights to Queenstown to seven services a week - four from
Melbourne and three from Sydney.
''This new service will operate year-round, providing a nice
boost for tourism and hospitality industries in and around
Queenstown,'' Jetstar said.
The Melbourne-based Qantas subsidiary made a small reduction
in frequency on its Auckland-Queenstown route for July and
August to ensure its on-time performance was not impacted as
it was last year.
''During winter we are repatterning our seven weekly
transtasman Queenstown flights to reduce the risk of delays
caused by adverse weather conditions.
''For July and August these international Queenstown sectors
will not be linked to our domestic schedule. This
repatterning will underpin on-time performance during winter
across our NZ domestic network.''
Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd said the
additional service was welcome, especially because it was
year-round, as opposed to seasonal.
''I certainly believe our spring and autumn periods provide
excellent opportunities for Australians to visit Queenstown
and are areas perhaps underserviced by airline connectivity,
so having not only the high seasons but those shoulder
seasons operating is really positive.''
Mr Budd could not comment on whether Christchurch was being
increasingly sidelined by airlines - his focus was on
''Airlines make decisions to add and reduce services fairly
frequently as demand or trends change and the only thing I
can reinforce is growth in direct services to Queenstown is
based on a combination of demand created by marketing and the
experience people have here.''
Christchurch Airport chief executive Jim Boult said the
bigger airline picture needed to be looked at, because 85% of
international visitors to the South Island came through
As a Queenstown resident, Mr Boult said he was delighted
resort arrivals were increasing, but it was not entirely at
the expense of Christchurch.
''The importance of Christchurch Airport to Queenstown is
often overlooked. Not all people coming to Queenstown travel
there by aeroplane. Lots of people fly into Christchurch and
pick up rental cars, campervans and get on coaches to
Mr Boult said not all Australians wanted to go to Queenstown
and transtasman numbers for Christchurch over summer had been
the strongest since the earthquake. The common complaint over
summer was about the lack of seats into and out of
The lack of accommodation, not the earthquake aftermath, was
putting visitors off the Garden City, he said.