Invercargill Airport Limited is excited to confirm the start date for the new direct jet service between Invercargill and Auckland.
Invercargill Airport (IAL) General Manager Nigel Finnerty said the first Air New Zealand jet will arrive in Invercargill from Auckland on August 25 and Southlanders will be able to fly directly to Auckland from the 26th. Tickets for this service are on sale from today (January 25).
Introduced as a trial, the return service will operate five flights per week with each flight taking around two hours. Air NZ Grab a seat have flights from $59 to kick off the flights here
The flight opens a new and exciting chapter of aviation and travel into and out of Invercargill.
Invercargill is the first non-international regional airport to have a regular passenger A320 jet service in New Zealand, Finnerty said.
“The airport and our community partners, along with Air New Zealand, have worked extremely hard to make this flight a reality,” he said.
With New Zealand’s biggest city now accessible in two hours, business and leisure travellers will have more options available. The arrival of this direct service brings the world closer to Southland.
“Southland has been asking for this direct flight for years, so it’s really satisfying to finally see the service come to fruition,” Finnerty said.
“Lots of travellers currently use other airports to start or finish their journeys. We’re now really looking forward to many of those people choosing Invercargill Airport to start or end their travels in the future.”
IAL Chairman Tommy Foggo said visitors would recognise the ease of flying into Invercargill for its access to the Catlins, Stewart Island, Fiordland and Queenstown.
“The direct flight means tourists have a new option to start their New Zealand journey at our place. It will make it easier for people to put Southland on their hit list before heading north and those visitor flow-on effects are going to be fantastic for our region.”
The jets also provide a significant increase in airfreight space. Southland’s exports are now closer to its markets. With direct access to New Zealand’s economic powerhouse, business has massive opportunity to benefit from these flights.
Venture Southland Group Manager Business and Strategic Projects Steve Canny said the potential growth for Southland by the region being more accessible meant vast changes to the business and tourism landscapes could be on the way.
“Southland has always been open for business but now this direct flight service will increase the ease of doing business and positively contribute to the regional economy and wider tourism industry by encouraging more people to visit from both Auckland and further afield,” he said.
Like larger airports, passengers and baggage will have to be checked and screened before boarding the jet aircraft.
To accommodate for the new security measures, some changes will be needed in the terminal to provide the space for this to happen, Finnerty said.
“The way the new terminal was been designed means the changes we need to make will be minimal,” he said.
“Some of the rooms we currently use for meetings will be converted into a secure boarding lounge with a coffee shop, televisions and toilets.”
The baggage handling areas will require some extra equipment.
New Zealand has advertised the introductory seat price starting at $83 each way.
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