Non-stop flights shave hours off travel time
Protracted negotiations have finally yielded a direct service between Perth and Christchurch, to be jointly operated by Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand beginning in December. Both airlines and airports have expressed their satisfaction at having brokered the deal. As Alliance partners, Virgin and Air NZ will team up to offer the NZ 161 and NZ 162 flights, to and from Christchurch and Perth respectively. Boeing 767-300 aircraft will offer both Business and Economy class, in a ‘seats to suit’ style, with a flight time of approximately 6 hours.
The potential for growing the 100,000 passengers who already travel between the two cities via connecting flights is thought to represent a significant boost for both destinations. Western Australians will be delighted by the opportunity to visit the South Island’s scenery and enjoy its ski season, while Perth and the surrounding regions is emerging as one of Australia’s biggest “unknown” tourist hot spots.
Travelers who plan to visit both Australia and New Zealand on their vacation will be able to include Western Australia with just one flight, and easily add this pristine region to their vacation destinations.
Flying direct will shave up to 3 hours off the current journey time through Sydney or Melbourne, making it a much more attractive proposition to all concerned. Christchurch Airport CEO said of the agreement: “This new service is the result of collaborative planning by two airlines and two airports – Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia, Christchurch and Perth airports. All four of us have long recognized the wisdom of offering these flights and have now found timing to suit everyone.”