Virgin Australia is launching summer flights to New Zealand from Newcastle

Michael Bradley/Getty ImagesAuckland

Newcastle Airport, two hours north of Sydney, is going international, with Virgin Australia announcing it will run seasonal thrice-weekly flights to Auckland over the summer peak period.

Nearly three million people fly between the two countries and Virgin will add 13,000 extra seats between the two cities over the peak holiday period between November 22, 2018 to February 17, 2019.

One-way flights are on sale now from $AU199, excluding baggage.

Virgin Australia’s GM of network, revenue and alliances, Russell Shaw, said the flight to Auckland will take less than three hours.

“The Greater Hunter Region will also benefit from increased tourism opportunities, with New Zealanders now able to travel direct to Newcastle and explore the region and all it has to offer including wineries, restaurants and the pristine beaches,” he said.

The flights depart Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Newcastle Airport, which runs in parallel with RAAF Base Williamtown, spent $1.6 million last year upgrading its facilities to cater for international flights. The airport currently handles more than 1.3 million passengers annually.

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