Christchurch and Adelaide Airports have celebrated a 50-year sister city relationship with the signing of a memorandum of understanding to pursue a direct air service between the two cities.
Christchurch city Council says the trans-Tasman relationship was formed in 1972 to facilitate diplomatic ties, student and economic exchanges, social connections, tourism and sporting events.
Christchurch Airport Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer, Justin Watson says the idea of direct travel between the cities has been discussed 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 appealing, with the cities sharing many common attributes.
“A direct air service to Christchurch Airport will definitely be an attractive offer to South Australians,” Mr Cox said.
“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.
“The opportunity also exists for New Zealanders to experience Adelaide for its cosmopolitan atmosphere, great wineries, eco-tourism and gateway to the Outback,” he said.