Christchurch-Australia flights increase

Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia are increasing trans-Tasman trips to Christchurch adding more than 40,000 seats next summer.

It is good news for Christchurch Airport where  passenger numbers are down more than 500,000 following the earthquakes and it will take years to rebuild those numbers.

Christchurch Airport said the extra 43,000 seats would be worth about $10 million to the local economy with more visitors staying in the city.

Air New Zealand which is a substantial shareholder in Virgin Australia announced today a 13 per cent increase in capacity to Christchurch.

The two airlines are adding services from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to Christchurch next summer.

Christchurch Airport's general manager of aeronautical services Matthew Findlay said the boost came at a good time because demand was outstripping supply.

The number of international passenger landing in Christchurch only started to grow in October last year after falling sharply following the earthquakes in 2011.

The Press