Qantas Increases Christchurch to Brisbane Direct Flights
Qantas is increasing the number of direct flights between Christchurch and Brisbane from June this year. That means a four-fold increase to 60,000-plus seats annually and for the first time in more than a decade Qantas will be providing Christchurch-Brisbane flights all year round.
Christchurch International Airport chief commercial officer aeronautical, Justin Watson, said the success of the trial summer service begun last December had given Qantas the confidence to further increase flights. He estimated the region could attract up to 13,000 more Australians as a result.
The increase in flights provides easy access to Brisbane's tempting winter sun for South Islanders as well as opportunities to travel on to to other Asian destinations.
The direct service will also allow passengers on Qantas' morning Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo Narita services into Brisbane to connect easily with flights into Christchurch. At the moment passengers from many of these places have to transit through other stops to get to Christchurch.
It is also thought that the extended service will encourage visitors to come here outside the peak summer months, smoothing the difficult seasonal variations for tourism and accommodation providers.
Mt Hutt Ski Area manager, James McKenzie, said a resurgence in Australian visitors would make a big difference to the mountain, but also an enormous difference to Canterbury and Methven accommodation providers. "It could make quite a significant impact on Methven as we start seeing the numbers come up again," McKenzie said.