Flights between Auckland and Newcastle, New South Wales will start in November, courtesy of Virgin Australia. The regional airport has not seen any international action for the past 16 years. The first passengers aboard one of the flights will arrive just in time for the Newcastle Supercars 500 weekend event, adding to the excitement of the occasion. While the flights will take place as a trial run which will be through the Summer, between 22 November and 17 February. If these run smoothly and are commercially and economically viable, they will be continued.
The flights scheduled between Auckland and Newcastle in New South Wales are estimated at 3 hours long and will only operate on a Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday to begin with. A one-way ticket will knock you back $381, however, if you book before midnight on Thursday you can pick your one-way ticket up for a sale price of $216. The Boeing 737-800 seats 176 passengers and is scheduled to depart Auckland at 5.10pm and arrive at its destination of Newcastle at 6.45pm. The return trip will depart at 7.30pm and arrive in Auckland at 12.25am.
Flights of Fancy
Besides cutting the travel time between New South Wales and Auckland by about ten hours, the benefits for regional tourism are unfounded. Tourism growth and the ability to allow visitors to every area of Australia will no doubt be a boost to the economy. While there are other flights between Auckland and Newcastle, they require a stopover which drags the trip out to more than six hours. Virgin Australia is not the first airline to provide the flight between Auckland and Newcastle as a direct flight. Low-cost airline, Freedom Air undertook the venture in 2001 but it was short-lived. The quicker, more cost-effective flights will allow tourists more time to explore the sights and landmarks offered.