Adelaide eyes direct Christchurch flights

Adelaide Airport is exploring direct flights to Christchurch in New Zealand, but says they might take years to take off.

Jul 13, 2022, updated Jul 13, 2022
Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Christchurch and Adelaide Airports this afternoon announced they had signed a memorandum of understanding to investigate a direct air service between the sister cities.

The agreement marks 50 years since the sister relationship was formed and comes as the international travel industry starts to rebound after pandemic-prompted border closures.

Christchurch Airport chief aeronautical and commercial officer Justin Watson said traffic between Adelaide and Christchurch was on a steady rise before COVID.

He said more than 25,000 passengers travel between Christchurch and Adelaide each year, while 42,000 people travel from New Zealand’s South Island to Adelaide.

“We will talk to airlines about such a service, though acknowledge airlines the world over are busy gearing up again after the worst impacts of the pandemic,” he said.

“We realise this service might take a couple of years to come to fruition, but the MOU signals definite interest in getting it across the line.”

Air New Zealand recommenced direct flights from Adelaide to Auckland on July 6, while Qatar Airways started running five weekly services from Doha to Adelaide – and then on to Auckland – at the beginning of this month.

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Meanwhile, Fiji Airways restarted direct flights from Adelaide to Nadi on July 4.

Adelaide Airport managing director Brenton Cox said a direct service to Christchurch would be appealing to South Australian travellers.

“They know Christchurch is the gateway to the South Island, a winter playground, as well as the amazing mountains lakes and adventure options in summer,” he said.

“The opportunity also exists for New Zealanders to experience Adelaide for its cosmopolitan atmosphere, great wineries, eco-tourism and gateway to the Outback.”

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