Kiwis will again be able to leave their winter woes behind and fly non-stop to the heart of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast next year with alliance partners Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia confirming a second season of direct services between Auckland and Sunshine Coast.
The direct service will operate twice a week on Tuesdays and Sundays from 18 June to 13 October 2013. The 17 week season is being extended next year to include the October school holidays, following the success of the 2012 season.
Air New Zealand Group General Manager Australasia Bruce Parton says the route has been particularly popular with New Zealand holiday makers.
"The Sunshine Coast has long been a haven for Kiwis wanting a break from the long New Zealand winter. Now they can do so without the1.5 hour drive to and from Brisbane," Mr Parton says.
"Destination Sunshine Coast is rapidly growing in popularity and demand for the service is expected to exceed this year’s figures as awareness of the route grows."
Virgin Australia Group Executive of Alliances, Network and Yield Merren McArthur says, "We are very pleased with the positive response to the Sunshine Coast's first international service. Kiwis can also use the Sunshine Coast as a starting point to explore other parts of Queensland and Australia, which helps to grow tourism in this country.
"We will continue to work with our partner Air New Zealand to promote the route and to look for other opportunities to enhance our joint offering for customers."
For Sunshine Coast locals the non-stop service is an easy hop across the Tasman to New Zealand with its fantastic winter tourist attractions in both the North and South Islands.
The route is also a popular one with Kiwi expats and Sunshine Coast locals visiting family and friends in New Zealand.
An A320 aircraft will operate the service, offering a 'Seats to Suit' fare structure and seamless connections to the domestic and international networks of Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia.
Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs ph +64 21 747 320
Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, AviancaTaca, Blue1, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAM Airlines, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. EVA Air and Shenzhen Airlines have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers more than 21,500 daily flights to 1,356 airports in 193 countries.