Air New Zealand is celebrating a new milestone, with the news that it carried a million domestic passengers to and from the popular tourist destination of Queenstown in 2016.
The airline reached the milestone for the first time late last year with 163,000 more domestic customers flying into Queenstown in the year to the end of December compared to the previous year, representing close to 20 percent growth year on year.
Air New Zealand’s Chief Revenue Officer Cam Wallace says Queenstown is one of the most popular destinations on the airline’s domestic network with both Kiwi and international travellers.
“Queenstown’s popularity continues to go from strength to strength. A decade ago we were carrying around 375,000 people a year on our Queenstown routes so to break the 1,000,000 barrier is phenomenal and represents a huge economic benefit for the region.
“We have worked closely with Queenstown stakeholders in recent years to create the hugely successful Air New Zealand Queenstown International Marathon which has sold out two years in a row and attracted entrants from all over the world to come to visit Queenstown in the shoulder season.
“Last year Air New Zealand also became the first airline to operate scheduled flights after dark, extending the travel day for customers and enabling visitors to make the most of their Queenstown experience.”
Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult says the growth in passenger numbers reflects Queenstown’s reputation as a top destination for Kiwis and international travellers alike.
“We recognise the significant role that Air New Zealand plays in bringing domestic visitors to our district. The airline’s increased capacity and the extended operating hours at our airport have made it easier for visitors to come here and also made business travel more convenient, which are both important for our local economy.”