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Qantas will familiarise its pilots with Queenstown Airport before its services increase for winter, but the training flights will not mean more aircraft noise for Frankton residents, the airline says.
The Australian carrier and new major sponsor of the Queenstown Winter Festival will add more than 650 seats each week on its Boeing 737-800 aircraft to the resort during the 2014 ski season.
''Our seasonal services reflect the continued popularity of the surrounding skifields and will represent a boost to the New Zealand tourism industry, particularly as Emirates will codeshare on all the existing and additional services,'' Qantas spokeswoman Courtney Treak said.
Jetconnect, the New Zealand-based subsidiary of Qantas, has started an incremental increase to its flight training hours in the Wakatipu to make sure operational requirements are ready to cater for a larger number of inbound and outbound flights.
The familiarisation flights are being conducted to reacquaint pilots with Queenstown approach and departure procedures.
The Jetconnect pilots involved in familiarisation flights have more than 20 years' experience each and will not be ''revving'' engines and disturbing neighbours of the airport, the spokeswoman said.
''In an effort to accommodate the familiarisation flights and reduce the impact of aircraft noise on its neighbours, Queenstown Airport has co-ordinated the flights at a quieter time of year when the airport is already on a reduced schedule,'' Ms Treak said.
''Jetconnect, on behalf of Qantas, has completed over 4000 flights into and out of Queenstown when they flew services to/from Queenstown as part of the Qantas domestic New Zealand network until 2009.''