Jetstar has added 15,000 extra international seats
between Australia and Queenstown this winter, in addition to
the increase in winter flights announced by parent airline
Qantas two months ago.
The increase in Jetstar flights from Australia's two largest
cities during July and August was welcomed by Destination
Queenstown and the Queenstown Airport Corporation.
A temporary marquee will be set up at the airport to cater
for more arrivals.
Jetstar head of New Zealand Grant Kerr said
Melbourne-Queenstown services would rise from four times a
week to daily, and Sydney-Queenstown from three to five a
The extra winter services, operated by Jetstar's fleet of
180-seat Airbus A320 aircraft, would begin on July 1 and end
on August 31.
''Over the nine weeks from the start of July to the end of
August we've added a total of 44 extra return services from
Australia with 26 from Melbourne and 18 from Sydney,'' Mr
''That equates to an additional 15,000 seats in and out of
Queenstown during winter.''
Mr Kerr said Jetstar added the extra flights to meet strong
demand from Australia to Queenstown at the height of the ski
Jetstar permanently increased services on November 12, from
five a week (Melbourne three and Sydney two) to seven a week
(Melbourne four per week and Sydney three).
Qantas will begin extra services to Queenstown on April 7 and
finish on October 24, with two extra services a week over
Easter and daily flights from July 4.
Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd said the
extra flights were ''testament to our growing position as the
premier ski destination in Australasia and clearly the demand
Airport corporation chief executive Scott Paterson said the
airport could handle the extra influx of passengers from the
two airlines and had plans for international arrivals this
winter and next winter.
''It's going to be tough, because it's a very strong peak and
a very compressed period, based on the times they leave
Australia and their need to turn the plane and depart before
the end of flying, which is before dark,'' he said.
A $500,000 ''pop-up'' marquee would cater for extra
international arrivals this winter. The heated structure
would be erected beside the international arrivals hall.
The ''unacceptable'' alternatives were queues or delays on
aircraft, or allowing fewer aircraft at peak times, Mr
Mr Paterson said European terminals often added space for
winter or festivals.