Qantas Boosts Christchurch Flights Amid Strong Demand

Aerial view of Christchurch Airport.
Photo Credit: Tim Ward/Airport Fire Service via Christchurch Airport Twitter X

Christchurch Airport is gearing up for a boost in its connectivity with Australia. Qantas has now moved decision to increase the number of flights between the city and Brisbane and Melbourne.

This move comes as a response to strong demand and signals continued travel confidence for Christchurch and the wider South Island region.

Qantas Expansion Plan

Qantas, the Australian national carrier, has announced plans to add more than 175,000 additional seats to its routes between Christchurch, Brisbane, and Melbourne over the next 12 months.

This expansion aims to enhance travel options for passengers and cater to the growing demand for air travel between New Zealand and Australia.

Brisbane-Christchurch Route

Starting from late October 2024, Qantas will ramp up its flights between Brisbane and Christchurch, increasing from daily services to between 10 to 12 flights per week.

This expansion will result in the addition of up to 1,700 seats on the route each week, providing travelers with increased flexibility and accessibility.

Melbourne-Christchurch Route

Similarly, the Melbourne-Christchurch route will see a significant boost in flight frequency. During the peak December/January period, flights will increase from daily to 12 per week.

Subsequently, the route will continue to operate between 10 to 12 flights per week throughout 2025, again adding up to 1,700 seats weekly.

This expansion will offer passengers more choices and facilitate smoother travel experiences.

Benefits for Christchurch and South Island

Justin Watson, the Chief Executive of Christchurch Airport, has hailed Qantas’ decision as a testament to the region’s appeal and growing popularity as a travel destination.

He emphasizes that the additional flights not only cater to the increasing demand for travel but also underscore the airline’s confidence in the potential of Christchurch and the South Island.

As the major airport on the South Island, Christchurch provides Australian travelers easy access to the region’s stunning scenery and tourist attractions.

Passengers can connect through Christchurch to other destinations in New Zealand, including the North Island.

Benefits for Local Communities

The enhanced flight schedule will provide local residents with greater flexibility in planning their trips to Australia, whether for leisure or business purposes.

Moreover, it will make it easier for travelers to connect to long-haul destinations across Europe and Asia through Qantas’ extensive global network.

View of Southern_Alps_from_Christchurch_Airport
DB Thats-Me, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Boosting Tourism and Economy

Watson also highlights the significant economic benefits that come with increased air connectivity. Every additional flight brings in valuable international visitors who contribute to the growth of local communities and businesses.

With Qantas’ expanded services, Christchurch Airport is poised to welcome even more tourists, further boosting the region’s tourism sector and overall economy.

Christchurch Airport holds the title of New Zealand’s second largest airport. Here’s a breakdown of its significance:

  • Size: While it doesn’t boast the most extensive terminal building (having a single terminal of 77,591 square meters), Christchurch Airport occupies a substantial land area of 1,000 hectares.
  • Passenger Traffic: Passenger numbers pre-pandemic reached highs of over 6 million annually, solidifying its position as a major air transport hub.
  • South Island Gateway: Christchurch acts as the primary airport for the South Island, making it crucial for regional access and tourism.
  • Cargo Importance: The airport plays a vital role in freight movement, particularly for the South Island’s exports like cherries.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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