‘Virgin Australia has been on record saying that New Zealand is not necessarily a priority right now, so we are looking at options.’
Crowe says the previous thrice weekly, 13-week seasons saw a 60% to 40% split with the greatest number of travellers heading from the greater Newcastle catchment area to Auckland.
‘We think a 50-50 split is desirable and achievable,’ he says.
NTL CEO Dr Peter Cock, says the city (the seventh largest urban area in Australia) and surrounding areas like Hunter Valley and Port Stephens have plenty to offer New Zealanders. The proximity to Sydney, about two hours’ drive to the south is both a ‘blessing and a curse’ but the trade could encourage clients to spend a few days in a region they are not so familiar with and then visit the larger city after that if they wished.