More flights for New Zealand ski season

14th June 2013, by Abi Butcher

Ski area Coronet Peak in New Zealand's South Island opened last weekend

Ski area Coronet Peak in New Zealand's South Island opened last weekend

To cope with a busy ski season in the southern hemisphere, more flights have been laid on between Wellington and Queenstown in New Zealand.

The ski season opened in Coronet Peak near Queenstown last weekend (8 June). This week Air New Zealand announced it will offer 44 per cent more seats between Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, and Queenstown — the nearest hub to both Coronet Peak and Treble Cone in Wanaka, which opens on 27 June.

Budget carrier Jetstar recently stopped flying from Wellington to Queenstown, so Air New Zealand is boosting flight capacity during the ski season, from July and mid-October, by replacing its 68-seat ATR turboprop planes with 133-seat Boeing 737-300 jets.

Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia also recently announced an extra 30,000 seats will be laid on between Queenstown and Australia during the peak ski season (July to September).
Air New Zealand is boosting its capacity between Wellington and Queenstown for the ski season.

The national carrier said today that it would offer 44 per cent more seats between the capital and the resort town from July to mid-October, largely through replacing its 68 seat ATR turboprop aircraft with 133 seat Boeing 737-300 jets.

“Queenstown is a hugely popular destination over the ski season,” said Air New Zealand general manager Cam Wallace.

Although the last snowfall was more than 10 days ago — 3 June — thousands of skiers and snowboarders turned out for Coronet Peak’s opening day last Saturday, arriving from 5am to get their “first on the lift” placing. 

Current base depth at Coronet Peak is 40cm on the upper mountain, 30cm on the lower mountain.

Elsewhere in New Zealand, Mount Hutt in Canterbury opens this weekend, 15 June, The Remarkables opens on 22 June,

In Australia, Thredbo and Perisher both opened last weekend with the latter ski resort saying the opening had not been “as snowy” as previous years. In May Australian forecasters predicted a slow start to the ski season.

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