Qantas’ new Auckland-Gold Coast service wins Route of the Week

Qantas’ Gold Coast to Auckland

Qantas launched a daily Gold Coast-Auckland service on 19 April 2021 as trans-Tasman travel recommenced. A spectacular aviation-themed cake was cut to mark the occasion.

Qantas launched a daily Gold Coast-Auckland service on 19 April 2021 as trans-Tasman travel recommenced. It is Qantas’ first international service from Gold Coast Airport, and will deliver 63,000 seats annually and represent a regional economic impact of $50 million.

“The start of the new Qantas Gold Coast-Auckland service will represent an important milestone in the partnership between Gold Coast Airport and Qantas,” said Chris Mills, CEO Queensland Airports Limited. “These flights will see us immediately reach pre-COVID-19 capacity levels between the Gold Coast and Auckland, with Jetstar and Air New Zealand also supporting this route. We know flights between the Gold Coast and New Zealand will be well supported and now there will be even more flights for passengers to choose from.”

Indeed, competition on the route comes from Jetstar Airways, which operates a five-times weekly service, and Air New Zealand (six-times weekly).

Gold Coast Airport welcomed passengers on the QF AKL-OOL inaugural service. The trans-Tasman fun included wildlife displays, a Kiwi bubble tea stand, Gold Coast Titans representatives and a host of characters and mascots.

Celebration to mark restart of trans-Tasman travel

A special trans-Tasman cultural welcome and colourful celebration awaited Kiwi visitors who landed on the Gold Coast on 19 April, as travel recommenced across the ‘ditch’.

The day started with a skydiving display, featuring giant Australian and New Zealand flags landing at the southern end of the airport during the sunrise. An Australian indigenous welcome to the country and New Zealand Haka demonstration was staged for arriving passengers on the airport apron.

Also part of the trans-Tasman fun were wildlife displays, a Kiwi bubble tea stand, Gold Coast Titans representatives and a host of characters and mascots. Lamingtons, the origin of which is heavily disputed by Australians and New Zealand, were handed out to arriving passengers and a spectacular aviation-themed cake was cut to mark the occasion.

A traditional Australian indigenous welcome at Gold Coast Airport for New Zealand visitors on the Air New Zealand flight from Auckland (19 April 2021).

Mills said the airport team and tourism operators were extremely excited about the resumption of trans-Tasman travel, with 16 services scheduled in the first week alone. “We have been waiting more than 12 months for the restart of international travel and it begins with one of the Gold Coast’s most important overseas markets and Australia’s closest neighbour,” he commented. “Given the impact of this separation on so many people, we are expecting to see lots of emotional reunions at Gold Coast Airport over the next few weeks. With 60,000 Kiwis living on the Gold Coast and the region rating highly on travel wishlists of New Zealand residents, we expect these services to be extremely popular in both directions.”

Destination Gold Coast CEO Patricia O’Callaghan added that the Qantas Gold Coast-Auckland service marked a milestone for Gold Coast tourism’s recovery. “The restart of New Zealand travel represents our first international market to come back online in over a year, so the significance of this moment cannot be understated,” she said. “Our 4,600 tourism operators are extremely keen to roll out the welcome mat to travellers who traditionally flee winter to soak up our sunshine and Gold Coast experiences.”

Haka performed in front of the Air New Zealand plane to mark the restart of trans-Tasman travel.


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