Qantas set to land first in Queenstown

Qantas will begin landing in Queenstown next Monday, while the first flight from Air New Zealand...
Qantas will begin landing in Queenstown next Monday, while the first flight from Air New Zealand is scheduled for June 24. Photo: Getty Images

The first scheduled international flight to Queenstown Airport in 330 days is set to touch down at 2.30pm in a week's time.


Qantas flight QF121 from Sydney will be the first transtasman service to arrive in the resort on Monday since the short-lived transtasman bubble burst on July 30 last year due to an outbreak of the Covid-19 variant Delta.

Queenstown Airport chief executive Glen Sowry - who started in his role last September and has yet to see an international flight at the airport - said he was "stoked" to welcome Australians back to Queenstown.

"We know Aussies are keen to visit the lower South Island and that our airport community and local businesses are even more excited to welcome them back.

"Monday, May 23, marks an important step - not only in the airport's recovery, but the region's recovery after an incredibly challenging two years."

Jetstar is due to resume its transtasman services on Thursday, June 2, followed by Air New Zealand on Friday, June 24.

Virgin plans to re-start its transtasman services to Queenstown in November.

Queenstown Airport boss Glen Sowry is looking forward to welcoming Aussies back to the resort....
Queenstown Airport boss Glen Sowry is looking forward to welcoming Aussies back to the resort. Photo: ODT files

Mr Sowry said the airlines were seeing "strong demand" from Australia, and activity into Queenstown was predicted to ramp up significantly as winter approached.

During the peak days, in the middle of July, the airport expected up to 57 flights - both arrivals and departures - of which about a third would be transtasman.

"Prior to Covid, 30% of all passenger arrivals and departures at Queenstown Airport were from transtasman flights, so Aussies are an important part of our visitor mix,'' he said.

"For the coming winter, airlines have scheduled capacity at about 75% of their pre-Covid levels, and they will be monitoring demand going forward."

Winter capacity on domestic routes was similar to last year.

The airport would celebrate the arrival of the first Qantas flight next week with live music from Queenstown band Mojo and welcome gifts for passengers including treats and vouchers from airport retailers Paper Plus, Remarkables Sweet Shop, Patagonia, Airspresso, Global Culture and Outside Sports.

 

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