Qantas increases winter flights from Melbourne

Several thousand extra visitors are set to descend on Queenstown this winter after Qantas announced it will increase the number of its Melbourne to Queenstown flights.

In a press release, the airline said it would operate three services per week between Melbourne and the resort with a Boeing 737 aircraft, offering more than 10,000 seats on the route.

They will run between June 21 and August 27.

To cater for the additional flights, services between Melbourne and Christchurch will be reduced.

Qantas International chief executive Alison Webster said the new flights would allow more holidaymakers to get to the skifields in the South Island and meet increased demand during Queenstown's busiest period.

''Every year we see more and more Australians travelling across the Tasman to experience a ski season in New Zealand, Ms Webster said.

''We know there is already strong demand from Melburnians travelling to Queenstown in winter and our existing flights from Sydney are very popular.''

The flights, which will operate on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, were made possible by reducing Qantas' Melbourne-Christchurch schedule to four services per week over the winter when demand was lower.

daisy.hudson@odt.co.nz

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