News of the Air New Zealand A321neo aircraft heading to Gold Coast Airport has been welcomed – along with the 60 per cent expansion in airline seats that it will deliver between the Gold Coast and Auckland.
From February 2019, the airline will add a new Monday return service between Auckland and the Gold Coast on the A321neo and move existing Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday return services to the new aircraft.
The A321neo – which lands on the Gold Coast for the first time later this month – has 46 more seats than the outgoing A320 and, when combined with the additional weekly service, it will see 8,000 new seats added to the route.
Gold Coast Airport Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said the additional capacity was great news for Gold Coasters seeking a New Zealand getaway, and for Kiwis wanting to visit Australia’s premier holiday destination.
“We’re excited to welcome the neo aircraft to the Gold Coast – it represents not just more seats, but a better flying experience for passengers,” she said.
“The New Zealand market has been consistently strong this year, so it is pleasing to see Air New Zealand increase its stake in our city.”
Air New Zealand Chief Revenue Officer Cam Wallace said the change was a real positive for holidaymakers.
“The Gold Coast s a popular destination for Kiwi tourists and Australia is New Zealand’s largest source of inbound visitors, so it’s fantastic to be able to increase capacity to meet this demand,” he said.
Air New Zealand’s first A321neo aircraft arrived in Auckland early last week after departing the Airbus facility in Hamburg.
The aircraft is the first of 13 new Airbus neo aircraft to join Air New Zealand’s fleet and is expected to enter commercial service on 23 November, with its first Gold Coast service set for 24 November.
A complete A321neo fleet will eventually replace the Air New Zealand’s A320s that currently operate on its Tasman and Pacific Island services.
A record 6.6 million people took to the sky to and from the Gold Coast in the past financial year, with Auckland in the top two most popular destinations for locals heading overseas.