A major announcement out of Newcastle Airport today, with international flights now returning to Williamtown.
From November 22, Novocastrians will be able to fly direct to Auckland, New Zealand.
Virgin Australia will run services three times a week until February.
Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack was on hand for the announcement, and says the Hunter will reap in the benefits of this move.
“I know that 46% of our international tourists actually visit a regional area. International tourists coming into Newcastle can only boost those numbers,” he says.
It’s been 16 years since Newcastle last offered trips to New Zealand and CEO, Dr. Peter Cock says a change in the market makes the concept more viable.
“A lot more people travel now. Sixteen years ago travel was a luxury item, now a lot of people do it much more often,” he says.
Whether the flights continue beyond February depends on its popularity.
“We’re hoping this season will be really successful and then we can push it on to next season and then talk to Virgin about extending the shoulders,” says Dr. Cock.