Qantas will become the fourth airline offering nonstop flights between Melbourne and Queenstown when it launches a three times weekly seasonal service in time for the upcoming ski season.
The airline plans to operate Boeing 737-800s on the route between June 21 and August 27. The flights have been scheduled for Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
“Every year we see more and more Australians travelling across the Tasman to experience a ski season in New Zealand,” Qantas international chief executive Alison Webster said in a statement.
“We know there is already strong demand from Melburnians travelling to Queenstown in winter and our existing flights from Sydney are very popular.
“These new flights from Melbourne will allow Victorians to fly direct, maximising the time they have on the slopes and to explore everything else this beautiful destination has to offer.”
Qantas’s Boeing 737-800s are configured with 12 business class seats and 162 economy class seats for a total of 174.
Qantas said it would cut its Melbourne-Christchurch service from daily to four flights a week while the Melbourne-Queenstown flights were operating. The airline also offers nonstop flights to Queenstown from Brisbane and Sydney.
Its low-cost carrier Jetstar also flies to the popular tourist destination on New Zealand’s south island from the Gold Coast, Melbourne and Sydney.
Meanwhile, Virgin Australia started flying the route in October 2018, having revamped up its trans-Tasman network following Air New Zealand’s decision to walk away from an alliance between the pair after seven years.
Air New Zealand is the fourth airline with nonstop flights on the Melbourne-Queenstown route.