Air New Zealand’s Auckland to Sunshine Coast
Two cakes were baked in Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia to welcome the first international route on Air New Zealand; one for arriving passengers and one for the first departure. Cutting the arrival cake were Cam Wallace, Air New Zealand’s GM Australia; the Australia Zoo Irwin family (Bindi, Bob and Terri); and Mayor Mark Jamieson, Sunshine Coast Council. As passengers got ready to depart for Auckland, the honour of cutting the second cake was with Fiona Simpson, MP for Maroochydore.
- Air New Zealand, which now partners with Virgin Australia on trans-Tasman routes, launched a new route across the Tasman Sea on 1 July when the Star Alliance carrier connected its Auckland (AKL) hub with Maroochydore (MCY) on Australia’s Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Notably, this is the first time the Australian airport welcomes an international service. Flights operate seasonally, twice-weekly on Tuesdays and Sundays with A320s until 18 September. However, the airline states that the season may be extended depending on the route’s performance. Air New Zealand’s CEO Rob Fyfe commented: “Every year almost a hundred thousand New Zealand leisure travellers arrive in Brisbane and make the 100km plus drive north to the popular Sunshine Coast beach resorts such as Noosa, Coolum, Mooloolaba and Maroochydore. This new service will cut down their travelling time by eliminating the commute from Brisbane Airport which can be more than two hours.”