Qantas has announced it will fly twice-weekly between Auckland and Perth over the holiday season.
The new service, which will add more than 1,000 seats per week to the route, will be launched in early December and will continue through February 1.
Auckland Airport general manager Glenn Wedlock said there were more than 100,000 arrivals from the route in the year to June 30.
WA arrivals to New Zealand grew by 12 per cent over the past year, adding to a 15 per cent rise in the previous 12 months.
“We are expecting significant growth on this route which sees 39 per cent of travellers coming for a holiday and 50 per cent of Western Australians visiting for business and to see friends and relatives,” Mr Wedlock said.
“Travellers from Western Australia also traditionally stay longer and tour more of New Zealand during their visit than other Australians, so more direct flights should see solid growth for the tourism industry.”
The route is one of a suite of improvements Qantas announced for its international network today.
Qantas said it would also upgrade its flights between Sydney and Hong Kong to an Airbus A380 aircraft, while also increasing frequency on the daily Brisbane to Los Angeles route.
The airline said it would also retime its existing Sydney to Christchurch service so it connects with more international services and better complemented existing Emirates routes.
“We’re able to make these changes by simply using our existing assets better,” Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said.
“For instance, the new seasonal Perth to Auckland service uses an A330 that would otherwise be on the ground over the weekend.”
At close of trade today, Qantas shares were down 3.2 per cent, at $1.22.