Traditional welcome in Queenstown for Jetstar’s new Gold Coast service

Passengers on Jetstar’s new trans-Tasman service between the Gold Coast and Queenstown were treated to a traditional aircraft water arch welcome and Maori powhiri on the tarmac when they arrived in the Southern Lakes capital this afternoon.

Jetstar announced the new service between the two world-famous holiday resorts in September this year, with the first flights timed ahead of the festive holidays and peak summer travel season.
The low fares airline will operate three flights a week between Queenstown and the Gold Coast on Saturday, Monday and Thursday.

Grant Kerr, Jetstar head of New Zealand, said the new services reflected the airline’s focus on growing leisure markets.

“Both Queenstown and the Gold Coast are key leisure markets for us and it’s exciting to be able to offer the only international link between these destinations,” Mr Kerr said.
“Over the past two years our international passenger numbers to Queenstown have grown significantly and these new services will continue to support that tourism growth.”

Scott Paterson, Chief Executive of Queenstown Airport Corporation, said he expected the three-and-a-half hour non-stop service to be popular with both inbound and outbound travellers.

“Our scenery, range of experiences and close proximity to five ski fields makes us a great value holiday destination for Australians. And for lower South Island residents, the surf, sun and beaches of the Gold Coast will be a big drawcard all year-round,” Mr Paterson said.

Customers on today’s inaugural Gold Coast flight went in the draw for a range of lucky seat prizes from Queenstown tourist operators including AJ Hackett bungy jump, a Real Journeys TSS Earnslaw cruise and BBQ lunch at Walter Peak, Shotover Jet rides, Skyline gondola and luge passes, Ziptrek rides, free accommodation at Highview Apartments, Kiwi Birdlife family passes, and vouchers for Queenstown’s world-famous Fergburger.

Outbound passengers to the Gold Coast received Jetstar goodie bags and were treated to a rousing Kapa Haka performance in the departure lounge.

In addition to the three weekly Queenstown-Gold Coast services Jetstar also offers up to four flights a week to Melbourne and three flights to Sydney.

It was the second route launch in as many days for the low fares airline. Yesterday Jetstar began its first ever international flights into Wellington from the Gold Coast.

With the new services Jetstar will have more flights from New Zealand to the Gold Coast than any other trans-Tasman airline, with up to 18 flights a week from four New Zealand destinations
Flights on both new Tasman routes will be operated by 180-seat Airbus A320 aircraft in a single class.

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Marcus Lush heads to ZB as Kerre moves to daytime (We’ll miss you from nights Kerre)

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NMZE. has confirmed they have signed talented multi-media broadcaster Marcus Lush. In what is being dubbed the ‘steal’ of the year, Lush will finish with Mediaworks mid-next year, joining NZME.

at the end of 2015. He will host the night show on Newstalk ZB, but Dallas Gurney, General Manager (Talk) says someone with Lush’s talent the potential is endless.

“Marcus is a brilliant broadcaster – he’s is Radio Live’s most successful performer but he is also a favourite with New Zealanders on screen and he writes well. NZME. offers him the opportunity to showcase all of his talents. Marcus is a natural fit to work with us as we continue to grow our #1 rating nationwide night show on Newstalk ZB. He’s bloody top talent, one of the best and he deserves to be working with the best.”

Lush says the year ahead is looking exciting.

“While I’ve enjoyed my time on breakfast, night-time talk on Newstalk ZB is my natural home. NZME. is an exciting new media company to work for and Newstalk ZB is the pinnacle of talk radio. They are professionals and I can’t wait to get started.”

Gurney confirmed incumbent host Kerre McIvor will be moving to afternoons as part of a yet to be announced new show. McIvor says she couldn’t have handed her show over to just anyone.

“I have absolute faith in Marcus to look after my people… he’s the right person for the job.”

Gurney added, “Kerre is one of our stars and is ready for a new challenge. Danny Watson will not be renewing his contract at the end of next year. He’s decided to concentrate on his bee business and honey school. He’s been talking about this for a bit so while we are sad to see Danny depart after 15 years with us, the timing works to create something different and exciting in afternoons for 2016 while Marcus’ involvement at nights will bring a brand new audience to night-time talk radio.”

Video

China Eastern touches down in Auckland for the summer

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The inaugural seasonal flight was welcomed with a powhiri at Auckland Airport. Norris Carter, Auckland Airport’s general manager aeronautical commercial, says the seasonal service will add an extra 47,000 seats on the Shanghai to Auckland route, contributing an estimated $54 million to the New Zealand economy over the peak summer period.

“The new service from China Eastern Airlines will see direct flights operating between Shanghai and Auckland during the peak New Zealand period of December 2014 to March 2015,” says Mr Carter. “The service will initially operate four flights per week and will increase to seven flights per week in January 2015.”

“Shanghai is China’s largest city and we have been experiencing impressive growth from this market recently. In the year ending June 2014, we saw a 20 per cent increase in passenger numbers arriving from Shanghai when compared to the year before. This equates to a remarkable 36,000 visitors arriving from Shanghai over the 12 month period and indicates the strong potential for the future expansion of this market.”

“With the introduction of this new service, we also now have two direct carriers on the Shanghai to Auckland route. We expect this increase in capacity will lead to double digit growth from the Shanghai market during the peak New Zealand summer period.”

“China is New Zealand’s second largest tourism market, with overall Chinese passenger arrivals increasing by 8.2 per cent when comparing the year ending June 2014 to the year ending June 2013,” continues Mr Carter. “Shanghai is a very sophisticated market, with many travellers from the region seeking premium travel experiences.”

“The new China Eastern Airlines service aligns strongly with our ‘Four Seasons, Five Senses’ project, which is jointly funded by Auckland Airport and the New Zealand Government’s Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment. The project aims to drive tourism growth from China by promoting the unique and iconic activities that our country has to offer. These activities concentrate on engaging the five senses of travellers with a focus on high quality food and wine, cultural and adventure experiences.”

Ms Kathy Zhang, General Manager Oceania for China Eastern Airlines, says the airline is expecting strong demand for its new service due to the popularity of New Zealand as a destination for Chinese travellers.

“During the 2014 Chinese New Year we operated two charter flights on the Shanghai to Auckland route. This proved very successful and it was off the back of this venture that we decided to introduce the new seasonal operation.”

“We are excited to now offer a seasonal service and deliver more capacity and choice for travellers,” finishes Ms Zhang

Podcast: Hauraki Breakfast is ‘number one with household shoplifters with kids’

heath

Check out the latest podcast with Jeremy Wells and Matt Heath.

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AUDIO: Outstanding NZ news reporting makes it to the BBC (News Quiz)

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This great story made it all the way to the BBC which has about 4 million listeners. That’s about the same as four times the size of a country with four million people.

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Inaugural China Eastern Airlines seasonal flight arrives at Auckland Airport

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The inaugural seasonal flight was welcomed with a powhiri at Auckland Airport. Norris Carter, Auckland Airport’s general manager aeronautical commercial, says the seasonal service will add an extra 47,000 seats on the Shanghai to Auckland route, contributing an estimated $54 million to the New Zealand economy over the peak summer period.

“The new service from China Eastern Airlines will see direct flights operating between Shanghai and Auckland during the peak New Zealand period of December 2014 to March 2015,” says Mr Carter. “The service will initially operate four flights per week and will increase to seven flights per week in January 2015.”

“Shanghai is China’s largest city and we have been experiencing impressive growth from this market recently. In the year ending June 2014, we saw a 20 per cent increase in passenger numbers arriving from Shanghai when compared to the year before. This equates to a remarkable 36,000 visitors arriving from Shanghai over the 12 month period and indicates the strong potential for the future expansion of this market.”

“With the introduction of this new service, we also now have two direct carriers on the Shanghai to Auckland route. We expect this increase in capacity will lead to double digit growth from the Shanghai market during the peak New Zealand summer period.”

“China is New Zealand’s second largest tourism market, with overall Chinese passenger arrivals increasing by 8.2 per cent when comparing the year ending June 2014 to the year ending June 2013,” continues Mr Carter. “Shanghai is a very sophisticated market, with many travellers from the region seeking premium travel experiences.”

“The new China Eastern Airlines service aligns strongly with our ‘Four Seasons, Five Senses’ project, which is jointly funded by Auckland Airport and the New Zealand Government’s Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment. The project aims to drive tourism growth from China by promoting the unique and iconic activities that our country has to offer. These activities concentrate on engaging the five senses of travellers with a focus on high quality food and wine, cultural and adventure experiences.”

Ms Kathy Zhang, General Manager Oceania for China Eastern Airlines, says the airline is expecting strong demand for its new service due to the popularity of New Zealand as a destination for Chinese travellers.

“During the 2014 Chinese New Year we operated two charter flights on the Shanghai to Auckland route. This proved very successful and it was off the back of this venture that we decided to introduce the new seasonal operation.”

“We are excited to now offer a seasonal service and deliver more capacity and choice for travellers,” finishes Ms Zhang.

China Eastern Airlines

China Eastern Airlines, headquartered in Shanghai, is one of the three major airlines in mainland China. It flies a fleet of more than 500 long-haul and short-haul aircraft with an average age of less than seven years. China Eastern Airlines serves nearly 80 million travellers annually and ranks among the world’s top five airlines in terms of passenger transportation volume.

As an official member of SkyTeam, China Eastern Airlines has extended its flight network from Shanghai to 1,064 cities in 178 countries via close cooperation with SkyTeam member airlines.

With the concept of “World-class hospitality with Eastern charm”, China Eastern Airlines creates splendid travel experiences for global customers with a comfortable and convenient service quality.

Virgin Australia offering business class on Trans-Tasman and Pacific flights

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Virgin Australia today announced travellers can now purchase Business Class tickets on Trans-Tasman and Pacific Island routes, enhancing the airline’s premium service offering in these markets.

The Sydney to Auckland route will be the first to offer Business Class, with flights launching on 28 February 2015. All other services will come into effect on 31 March 2015.

A progressive refit on 10 of the airline’s Boeing 737 fleet will see the aircraft reconfigured with the 2-2 business class configuration which feature luxury leather seating and menus designed by resident head chef Luke Mangan, as well as the introduction of priority services including check-in and boarding.

Virgin Australia Chief Commercial Officer Judith Crompton said: “Virgin Australia is renowned for its Business Class offering within Australia and we are thrilled to be bringing this service to the trans-Tasman and Pacific Island routes.

“These markets are a very important focus for us given the growth in business travel between Australia and New Zealand and we are committed to offering great value Business Class fares.

“The rollout of Business Class completes our premium customer proposition across key international markets and importantly, allows us to deliver a more consistent customer experience in conjunction with our alliance partner, Air New Zealand”, Ms Crompton said.

Business Class fares with Virgin Australia start from AUD699 on the Sydney to Auckland routes.

In February 2014, the airline was voted the Best Domestic Business Airline by Roy Morgan for the first time.

VIRGIN AUSTRALIA BUSINESS CLASS FEATURES INCLUDE:

Luxury leather seating with 38” seat pitch on the Boeing 737
Comfort packs with luxurious blankets, pillows, and International-style amenity kits including Australian organic cosmetics by GROWN for flights over three hours
Coat check-in service with complimentary coat bag
Newspapers until noon daily
Exclusive Luke Mangan gourmet full service dining experience
Premium Australian wines, beers, and spirit selection
Gourmet tea selection from Madame Flavour
Priority baggage service where available