Newcastle Airport will receive its first international flights since 2002 with non-stop flights to New Zealand. The direct Virgin Australia flights from Newcastle to Auckland will take off from 22 November 2018. Running 3x weekly, this will initially be a seasonal service operating over summer until 17 February 2019. But Virgin has said it will consider making the route permanent if there is sufficient demand.
Newcastle Airport’s new international flights will run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. VA199 will depart Newcastle at 7.30pm, arriving in Auckland at 12.25am the next day. The return VA198 leaves Auckland at 5.10pm for a 6.45pm touchdown in Newcastle.
The new flights are exciting news for anyone living in Newcastle, Port Stephens or the Hunter Valley. They could also be a good way to get to New Zealand for anyone living on the NSW Central Coast. Newcastle Airport is much smaller than Sydney and doesn’t have any airline lounges, but there are some advantages. Parking is available right outside the terminal door, and it’s just a short walk from check-in to the boarding gate. There is also much less traffic around Newcastle Airport than Sydney Airport.
Not only is Newcastle Airport more convenient than Sydney Airport for anyone living in the region, but airfares appear competitive too. Currently, Virgin Australia “Go” fares from Newcastle to Auckland are available from $310.70 return. Getaway fares, which include checked baggage and meals, are currently $390.70 return. You may also be able to save money on some fare types using a Virgin Australia discount code.
There are 8 Business class recliner seats on these Boeing 737-800 flights. Business Class is available for $1,250.70 return.
There is award availability on Virgin’s new Newcastle-Auckland flights in both Economy and Business Class. Return Economy flights will cost you 35,600 Velocity points and $120.70 in taxes. Business Class flights are 71,000 Velocity points plus $120.70, round-trip.
Newcastle Airport does not currently have any international flights. But it recently announced a redevelopment that would add the necessary customs and immigration facilities. The last international flights from Newcastle in 2002 were also to Auckland, with the now-defunct low-cost carrier Freedom Air.
The Newcastle-Auckland route is one of several new trans-Tasman services Virgin Australia will be launching after it ceases its partnership with Air New Zealand in October.
Canberra Airport lost its only international flights to New Zealand in May when Singapore Airlines re-routed its Singapore-Wellington service through Melbourne.
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