Trans-Tasman ski weekend flights to boost Queenstown economy
At least 38 return night flights weekly between Queenstown and Australia will be put on during the winter ski season in a new partnership between Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia.
It is the first time an international night service has been launched from the resort town after introducing night flights earlier this year.
VA will operate flights to Brisbane on Friday and Sunday nights leaving and arriving after 8pm from June 23, while Air NZ provide departing and arriving services to Sydney after 6pm on the weekend from July 1.
"As the popularity of Queenstown grows, particularly during the ski season, we are excited to be offering even more flexible scheduling options for our guests with these new night time Ski Shuttle services," says VA group executive John Thomas.
"Our new night flights from Queenstown to Brisbane enable Virgin Australia guests to enjoy a full day of skiing or snowboarding before travelling home."
NZSki chief executive Paul Anderson says the prospect of a couple of days skiing is more of a reality.
"It enables those guests who want to ski at Coronet Peak or Remarkables for a weekend, can come in for a weekend for a full two days and not be wasting time during the day which could be good skiing time," he says.
"We know that at the peak of our season [Australian tourists] make up 40 to 50 percent of our guests on our mountains."
Mr Anderson says since flights from Australia have been arriving in Queenstown there has been a huge increase in guests coming across.
The flights are still subject to regulatory approval and tickets go on sale from December 14.