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Plane spotters delight as Air New Zealand's inaugural A321neo touches down at Gold Coast Airport

November 24, 2018

Gold Coast Airport is rolling out the welcome mat for the aviation world’s newest plane –the A321neo – inviting keen aviation fans to witness the aircraft’s inaugural landing at the airport today.

Air New Zealand is one of the first airlines in the world to take receipt of the latest member of the Airbus family, the A321neo which will supersede the outgoing A320 aircraft.

The new plane offers an additional 46 seats, while delivering fuel efficiencies of up to 20 per cent per seat as well as an increased travel range of up to 900km.

Queensland Airports Limited Executive General Manager Business Development and Marketing Adam Rowe said the introduction of the A321neo aircraft was great news for the Gold Coast.

“New Zealand is one of our most important and busiest markets, so we are excited to see the country’s national carrier invest so heavily in the Trans-Tasman route,” Mr Rowe said.

“At Gold Coast Airport we process more New Zealand passports each year than Australian passports, which goes to show how important this connection is to us.

“The new A321neo offers one of the best flying experiences possible on the world market today while saving on fuel and other costs.”

Along with the increased seat capacity on its new aircraft, Air New Zealand is adding an additional service from Auckland to the Gold Coast from February next year –expanding its service to the port by 60 per cent.

Mr Rowe said the new aircraft held wider significance for Gold Coast Airport, with its increased range capable of opening up new markets for the destination.

“As aircraft technology evolves, so does the aviation industry,” Mr Rowe said.

“The increased capacity and range of the A321neo is really exciting as it will allow us to tap into long-haul markets previously beyond our reach.

“We’ll certainly be reaching out to new destinations in South East Asia and the Pacific – it’s great news for travellers to and from the Gold Coast.”

Gold Coast Airport hosted a group of excited plane spotters as they prepared to capture the landing of the first A321neo aircraft to the airport, which landed on schedule at 9.05am (AEST) today.

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