Queenstown Airport looks forward to welcoming flights from Australia… again!

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Queenstown Airport looks forward to welcoming flights from Australia… again!

After 330 days without a scheduled international arrival at Queenstown Airport (ZQN), QF121 from Sydney is scheduled to touch down at Queenstown Airport at 2.30pm on Monday 23 May.

Queenstown Airport CEO Glen Sowry says he’s stoked to welcome Aussies back to ZQN and the region once again.

“We know Aussies are keen to visit the lower South Island and that our airport community and local businesses are even more excited to welcome them back. Monday 23 May marks an important step in not only the airport’s recovery but the region’s recovery after an incredibly challenging two years.”

Qantas is the first airline returning to the ZQN - trans-Tasman route, followed by Jetstar on 2 June, and Air New Zealand on 24 June. Virgin is planning to re-start their trans-Tasman services to Queenstown in November.

Mr Sowry says the airlines are seeing strong demand from Australia and activity into ZQN was predicted to ramp up significantly as winter approaches.

“During peak days in the middle of July we are expecting up to 57 flights (arrivals and departures) and about one third of those will be trans-Tasman.

“Prior to COVID, 30% of all passenger arrivals and departures at Queenstown Airport were from trans-Tasman flights so Aussies are an important part of our visitor mix.

“For the coming winter airlines have scheduled capacity at about 75% their pre-Covid levels, and they will be monitoring demand going forward.”

Mr Sowry says winter capacity on domestic routes is similar to last year.

Those departing Queenstown over the next few months are encouraged to get to the airport well ahead of their scheduled flight to give themselves plenty of time to check in and process through security screening.

Travellers leaving Queenstown will also get to experience the larger departures screening area, and new international departures Duty-Free store which have been completed over the past 12 months as part of the airport’s terminal upgrade project.

Queenstown Airport will be celebrating the arrival of the first trans-Tasman flight with live music from local band Mojo, welcome gifts for passengers, and welcome back signs displayed around the airport.

Welcome bags included goodies and vouchers from airport retailers including Paper Plus, Remarkables Sweet Shop, Patagonia, Airspresso, Global Culture and Outside Sports.

Link: Top tips for travelling this winter. 


Members of the media are welcome to join us for arrival of the first flight. We can arrange airside access to capture vision of the plane before welcoming passengers inside at international arrivals. If you would like to join us, please let Libby Baron know by 3pm on Wednesday 18 May as we will need time to organise appropriate accreditation and airside access through Aviation Security Services.  

This press release was sourced from Queenstown Airport on 16-May-2022.