Airlines boost seats to Queenstown

JOSH MARTIN
Last updated 17:45 31/03/2014

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Queenstown could be in line for a bumper winter tourist season, with all trans-Tasman carriers flying to the southern ski town adding flights over winter.

Air New Zealand and its alliance partner, Virgin Australia, said they would add up to 40,000 seats from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Queenstown between July and September.

During the busiest months from July to September, the routes connecting Queenstown to Sydney and Brisbane would have two extra flights a week, while the Melbourne route will gain one extra weekly flight.

Air New Zealand's chief sales and commercial officer, Cam Wallace, said the carriers had nearly tripled the number of trans-Tasman seats to Queenstown per year in the past five years.

"Queenstown has experienced exponential growth in recent years," Wallace said.

The seasonal capacity increase follows an announcement by Jeststar last week that it would add 15,000 seats to Queenstown, from Sydney and Melbourne over the winter months.

Jetstar's parent, Qantas, recently replaced Air New Zealand as the primary sponsor of Queenstown's Winter Festival, opened a premier lounge at the airport and would increase flights from Sydney to daily, starting at Easter.

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