Pacific Blue is to take on Air New Zealand on the Auckland to Cairns route.
The New Zealand arm of Virgin Blue announced that it would start twice-weekly return flights, on Tuesday and Saturday, from March 23.
With over 30,000 visitors from New Zealand heading to north Queensland every year, Virgin Blue chief executive Brett Godfrey said the new services would not only provide an alternative travel option but also help grow the market.
Air New Zealand operates three direct return flights a week between Auckland and Cairns.
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