Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia have announced plans to operate twice weekly direct flights between Perth and Christchurch between December 2013 and late April 2014.
The flights, which will be operated by Air New Zealand 767-300ERs and codeshared by Virgin Australia, will depart Christchurch at 1540 and Perth at 1910 on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon announced the new service at the official opening this evening of Christchurch International Airport Limited’s new terminal facilities on April 18.
“We have been very pleased with the recovery we have seen on Christchurch routes in recent times and we expect traffic to continue to increase as a result of the new airport facilities,” said Virgin Australia chief commercial officer Judith Crompton. “Linking Christchurch with Perth, which has long had the highest growth rate of all Australian capital city airports, will provide an attractive service for business and leisure travellers alike.”
The two airlines say Christchurch and Perth are the two largest trans-Tasman destinations without a current direct service, and that direct Christchurch-Perth flights have not been operated in over 20 years.