The Hobart International Airport has today welcomed its inaugural Auckland to Hobart direct flight, marking the first non-stop flight service from New Zealand in over 20 years.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, welcomed the first flight arrival, saying the vision set out in the Hobart City Deal to boost tourism by making the airport a true international gateway was now a reality.

“Welcoming international flights from New Zealand into the heart of Tasmania via the Hobart Airport will provide a major boost to local jobs, businesses and the entire tourism sector at a critical time,” Minister Fletcher said.

“The Morrison Government is proud to be investing $82.3 million over the life of the Hobart City Deal for border services to support international flights, to make these benefits a reality and secure Hobart airport as an international gateway.”

Assistant Minister for Industry Development Jonno Duniam said Tasmania’s tourism and hospitality sector was ready to welcome New Zealanders.

“Before the pandemic, Tasmania attracted around 20,000 New Zealand visitors each year, who spent on average $1,370 per person and stayed seven nights.

“The direct flights will boost the number of New Zealand visitors during a time when Tasmania’s tourism operators need it most.

“With the majority of Air New Zealand’s bookings so far falling in April, May and the July school holidays, this is exactly the shot in the arm Tasmania’s tourism industry needs.”

Air New Zealand’s direct service will operate on Thursdays and Sundays, with a potential increase if there is sufficient demand.