Virgin's flights to Auckland, New Zealand return to Newcastle Airport

FLIGHT RETURN: Newcastle Airport CEO Dr Peter Cock at the announcement on Tuesday. Picture: Supplied
FLIGHT RETURN: Newcastle Airport CEO Dr Peter Cock at the announcement on Tuesday. Picture: Supplied

Direct flights between Williamtown and Auckland are back, with a new three-year partnership between Newcastle Airport and Virgin Australia announced on Tuesday.

The service, which will operate three times a week, will return for the peak holiday period between November and February over the next three years.

The agreement connecting the two cities was a great sign of confidence in the region, said Newcastle Airport CEO, Dr Peter Cock.

"On the back of the successes of last year, we are thrilled to provide some clarity and certainty around the longevity of these flights, which cement us as an international airport. Previously, services between Newcastle and Auckland have enjoyed some success before being terminated," he said.

"The first season was a real success, delivering an estimated $5.4 million in economic benefit into our region. Importantly, 38 per cent of holiday travellers were visiting the Hunter for the first time, which indicates this direct service stimulated new demand.

"The service also provided thousands of locals with the opportunity to visit Auckland for the first time. In fact, 30 per cent of Australian leisure travellers made their inaugural visit to the New Zealand city via this direct service."

Virgin will operate the three return services per week from November 21, 2019, to February 16, 2020, with potential to grow over subsequent years.

The airline's Russell Shaw said it was pleased to announce a return of the seasonal service after its popularity last year.

Flights are on sale now at virginaustralia.com.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer, Dr Peter Cock and Peter Gesling from Newcastle Airport. Picture: Supplied

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer, Dr Peter Cock and Peter Gesling from Newcastle Airport. Picture: Supplied

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