Just like Aussies tend to flee the winter chill, Kiwis are also looking for a sunny escape, although they’re looking a little closer to home.
And now, Air New Zealand is helping them get there, again bringing seasonal direct services from Auckland to the Sunshine Coast.
As part of a nationwide campaign called ‘Sunshine by Lunchtime’, Visit Sunshine Coast, Tourism & Events Queensland and Air New Zealand are aiming to show the Kiwis they can still score sunshine, so long as they hop across the Tasman first.
Air New Zealand’s non-stop seasonal service commences 7 July and will run until 29 October flying into the heart of the Sunshine Coast at Maroochydore.
Air New Zealand Chief Revenue Officer Cam Wallace said, “The popularity of the Sunshine Coast as a destination has been growing steadily and we’re looking forward to offering a direct service between Auckland and Maroochydore for a sixth season with up to four weekly services.
“By timing our services to depart Auckland at 9.30am, Kiwis can arrive at lunchtime ready to kick off their winter break and enjoy the very best Sunshine Coast has to offer.”
Sunshine Coast Airport General Manager Peter Pallot said the annual Air New Zealand services have gone from strength to strength over the past six years with passenger numbers increasing year on year as visitor awareness grows.
“Each year we look forward to welcoming our Air New Zealand visitors flying direct to the Sunshine Coast from Auckland.
“Air New Zealand is a strong and valued partner of Sunshine Coast Airport and their continued investment in the region is testament to the popularity of the direct flights over the July to October season,” Pallot said.
Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford added, “‘Sunshine by Lunchtime’ is in line with the Regional Tourism Organisation’s own recently launched ‘Come to Life’ on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast campaign in that it is visually rich and aims to highlight the Sunshine Coast’s ‘naturally refreshing’ attractions.
“Add to this the accessibility message offered by the direct services and you have a “hugely attractive winter sun proposition for New Zealanders.”
New Zealand is the largest international market for the Sunshine Coast with 66,000 visitors coming across the ditch to the year ending December 2016, (an increase of 9.2 per cent from 2015).
With the launch of the new campaign, an exciting calendar of events (including celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the naming of the Sunshine Coast from August) and a record level of direct flights to Sunshine Coast Airport, 2017 shows no sign of slowing down.