Increased seasonal flight services to boost Sunshine Coast tourism

20 Nov 2012 10:50 AMJann Stuckey

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Newman Government has welcomed the decision by Air New Zealand and alliance partner Virgin Australia to extend their Auckland services to the Sunshine Coast next year, following a successful trial season in 2012.

Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey said the twice-weekly seasonal service would open the skies for an additional 3,000 New Zealanders to fly direct to the Sunshine Coast.

“Almost 90 per cent of the passengers who took advantage of this year’s 12-week trial were Kiwis opting for a Sunshine Coast escape, which is a terrific result for everyone involved,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Thanks to a highly successful partnership between Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia, Sunshine Coast Airport, Sunshine Coast Destination Limited and Tourism Queensland the season will be extended from 18 June to 13 October 2013.

“New Zealand is the number one international market for the Sunshine Coast with 76,000 Kiwis travelling to the region last financial year.”

Ms Stuckey said the Newman Government was committed to increasing flights into the State, with the $8 million Attracting Aviation Investment Fund delivering great results to the tourism industry.

“Our Government is working hard to secure additional flights. Since March we have seen Qantas, Etihad, Scoot and China Eastern Airlines extend services to Queensland, boosting tourism right across the State,” she said.

To support the additional seasonal flights into the Sunshine Coast, Tourism Queensland and Air New Zealand will work together to promote the area and the flight service.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the announcement was wonderful news and would cement the region’s relations with Auckland.

“It also means, that all things being equal the $14.5 million generated last season for our region will increase to nearly $20 million,” he said.

Tourism is one of the four pillars of the Queensland economy and aviation access is a key part of the Newman Government’s goal to grow annual overnight visitor expenditure to $30 billion by 2020.

[ENDS] 20 November 2012