A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed
to link one of the largest un-serviced city pairs in Australasia,
with the intention of benefitting business, freight and tourism of
Christchurch Airport CEO Jim Boult says the
initiative has been under discussion between the two airports for
three or four months.
"Both airports have been keen to cement a formal
agreement to investigate and encourage an airline to take up the
route," says Mr Boult.
"The recent new Open Skies policy over Christchurch
until mid-2017 means any carrier can consider this opportunity,
depending on its own air service agreements with
"The support package we'll offer the first airline
to serve the route is valued at $7.5m NZD, depending on the
exchange rate at the time. It's based on a daily service, as
well as other assumptions which we'll work our way through with the
airline which takes up the opportunity."
The MoU allows both airports to jointly pursue
stakeholder engagement and encourage an airline to start flying the
In the past year, approximately 38,910 people
travelled between the South Island and South Australia. Research
shows considerably more would travel between both points if they
could fly direct, which supports the argument for a new service.
This suggests a direct daily service would have considerable uptake
and could be worth as much as $30m NZD ($23.75m AUD) to the
regional and South Island economy.
Adelaide Airport Ltd Managing Director Mark Young
says a direct air service is very appealing. He says there are many
common attributes between the two cities, not least a sister city
relationship of more than 40 years.
"A direct air service to Christchurch Airport will
definitely be an attractive offer to South Australians. They know
Christchurch is on the doorstep of a winter playground, as well as
beaches and outdoor adventures in the summer," Mr Young
"The opportunity also exists for New Zealanders to
experience Adelaide for its cosmopolitan atmosphere, great
wineries, eco-tourism and gateway to the