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Auckland airport wins new flights with Pacific Blue

Jane Shanahan

Monday 28th July 2008

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Auckland International Airport, the nation's largest gateway, said it stands to benefit from Pacific Blue's expansion on the trans-Tasman route.

Pacific Blue, a unit of Virgin Blue Holdings, is to begin flying daily between Auckland and Melbourne from September, it said in a statement today.

The new service will create greater demand for the trans-Tasman route, offering an extra 131,400 seats annually, said Don Huse, chief executive at Auckland Airport.

"Pacific Blue has helped grow the domestic market significantly since November 2007, and we believe this new service will further stimulate demand on the trans-Tasman sector," Huse said.

Shares of Auckland Airport fell 0.5% to NZ$1.91. The stock has gained more than 7% in the past five days.

Pacific Blue's announcement is "an important step" towards matching demand with the airport's increasing capacity, Huse said.

The airport company recently expanded its international arrivals area and is close to completing work on its Pier B.

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