More Kiwis fly into Tropical North QLD

Thu 25 Mar 

More Kiwis fly into Tropical North QLD

By Roy Weavers

Pacific Blue's new international services from Auckland to Cairns will increase seats on the route by 79 percent into Tropical North Queensland, Tourism Minister Peter Lawlor said today.


Mr Lawlor reported the twice-weekly flights, which began yesterday, March 23 using Boeing 737-800 aircraft, would make it possible for an additional 360 passengers to fly into Cairns each week. 


"These new flights will increase capacity on the Auckland-Cairns route by a massive 79 percent, which is great news for Tropical North Queensland after recent tough times for the tourism industry," Mr Lawlor said. "These additional seats add to the 456 seats already coming into Cairns via three-times-a-week Air New Zealand services from Auckland.


Member for Barron River and Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism Steve Wettenhall said the extra services couldn't have come at a better time for the region.


"Just last weekend, more than 50 Queensland tourism operators, including 18 from Tropical North Queensland, heavily promoted Queensland at OZTalk New Zealand from 19-21 March.


"New Zealand wholesalers, travel agents and thousands of members of the general public were exposed to Queensland's fantastic holiday options during OZTalk and with the help of "Best job" Ben Southall as Tourism Ambassador (as reported on Newsport March 23), a key message being pushed was how the new flights are making the Tropical North more accessible". 


"Pacific Blue is to be commended for making Tropical North Queensland more accessible and allowing its operators more access to the New Zealand market.


"New Zealand is Queensland's single largest international source market".


"398,000 New Zealanders came to Queensland in the year ended December 2009 and spent $531 million on their trips.


"In Tropical North Queensland, 34,000 Kiwis visited during the same period."