Newcastle Airport (IATA: NTL) became New South Wales’ second international airport, when its first flights from Auckland in 16 years landed on November 22. A 13-week seasonal service operated by Virgin Australia will run over the peak holiday period with direct flights available every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday between 22 November 2018 – 17 February 2019.
Newcastle Airport and Virgin Australia celebrated the occasion with the official opening of the new international gates welcoming the first passengers into the A$1.6 million international processing facilities for the first time.
Newcastle Airport CEO, Dr Peter Cock described the inaugural flights as a significant achievement for the Hunter region Central Coast and northern NSW, establishing direct connections as a true global gateway. “This is truly a historic moment that opens up a new era of travel and international connectivity for Northern NSW. We were very excited to welcome the arrival of VA199 this evening and the innumerable benefits the 13-week seasonal service will bring to the local economy. It is great for tourism, business, and for people visiting family and friends on both sides of the Tasman [Sea].
“I would like to specifically recognise the support and cooperation of the Federal Government, NSW Government, Virgin Australia, Airport Shareholders City of Newcastle and Port Stephens Council, and the people of our local region in sharing our vision to deliver the airport the region deserves. Without their help this new route, and all its broader benefits, would not be happening. For the first time in 16 years, the greater Hunter Region now has an international airport.”
The service operated by Virgin Australia between Auckland and Newcastle marks the start of the airlines’ three direct international services per week.