Christchurch and Adelaide Airports are celebrating their cities’ 50-year relationship by signing a memorandum of understanding aimed at getting a direct air service between the two cities.
The sister city relationship between Christchurch and Adelaide was formed in 1972 to facilitate diplomatic ties, student and economic exchanges, social connections, tourism and sporting events, and the airports say the time is right to pursue direct flights to make those things easier.
Christchurch Airport Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer Justin Watson says the idea has been under discussion for some time.
“Research shows traffic between the two cities was on a steady rise before Covid. Annual traffic between Christchurch and Adelaide is currently more than 25,000 passengers, and South Island travellers to Adelaide about 42,000 - with people saying they would make the trip more often if there was a direct route,” he says.
“We will talk to airlines about such a service, though acknowledge airlines the world over are busy gearing up again after the worst impacts of the pandemic. We realise this service might take a couple of years to come to fruition, but the MOU signals definite interest in getting it across the line – or perhaps I should say across the Tasman.”
Adelaide Airport Managing Director, Brenton Cox, says a direct air service is very appealing, with many common attributes between the two cities.
“A direct air service to Christchurch Airport will definitely be an attractive offer to South Australians. They know Christchurch is the gateway to the South Island, a winter playground, as well as the amazing mountains lakes and adventure options in summer,” Mr Cox says.
“The opportunity also exists for New Zealanders to experience Adelaide for its cosmopolitan atmosphere, great wineries, eco-tourism and gateway to the Outback.”