Great South welcomes the return of Air New Zealand jet service

Great South Chief Executive Graham Budd

Today has been a great day for the Southland region!

Following the Government’s announcement of the national Tourism Recovery Package and support for Regional Tourism Organisations, Air New Zealand has confirmed that an A320 jet service will operate between Auckland and Invercargill.

The popular flight will operate four return jet services a week. In addition, a daily (Monday to Friday) return service between Invercargill and Wellington will also be available from Monday 6 July.

Great South Chief Executive Graham Budd welcomed the announcement and said the re-establishment of the flights was really critical for Southland’s economic re-start.

“Increased connectivity to and from Southland will provide further motivation for people to travel south and gives our local exporters and businesses a renewed sense of confidence in their operations post COVID-19,”

Mr Budd said the launch of the Auckland to Invercargill jet service in 2018 was the result of a collaborative and determined regional effort and the re-establishment was no different with many of Southland’s leaders and key stakeholders passionately advocating for the return of the service.

“Increased connectivity enhances business confidence and vibrancy across the region and along with our Southland stakeholders, we are ecstatic that Air New Zealand is enabling this connectivity and vibrancy to continue,”

Invercargill Airport General Manager Nigel Finnerty said it was great the service, which was performing well pre-COVID, was set to take off again.

“It is a real vote of confidence in Southland that the service has come back so quickly after we have opened up after lockdown and we are looking forward to its continued success,”

The Southland Chamber of Commerce echoed the delight of Great South and Invercargill Airport limited and encouraged people to support the service as they did pre-COVID.

“We are thrilled that the jet service will resume, this is another example of the power of Southland collaboration to ensure the region is heard. As this kind of connectivity is imperative to the recovery of our business community, we all need to do our part in ensuring its future success,”

Great South GM for Tourism and Events Bobbi Brown said the return of the direct flight service would connect domestic travellers with Southland’s incredible offering and strengthen Invercargill’s position as the Gateway to Southland.

“We are looking forward to amplifying the success of the Auckland to Invercargill jet service, with our local tourism operators, businesses and community all enjoying the extensive benefits that it will bring,”