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December, 2017

Queenstown Airport marked another milestone this month, welcoming
its two millionth passenger in a calendar year for the first time.

Air New Zealand flight NZ631 touched down from Auckland just after
10.10am. While passengers had been told during an in-flight
announcement the two millionth passenger, Renee Brunton, of
Hamilton, was on board, they seemed taken aback by what was waiting
for them in the arrivals lounge.
Queenstown Airport staff, including eight with helium balloons spelling
'2 Million', children, travellers and those waiting for passengers lined
the path for passengers, holding balloons and streamers, and blew noise
makers - which collectively sounded like a flock of ducks in immense
pain - as other passengers from the flight walked through.
Mrs Brunton, travelling with her husband, Tony, and children Brooke and
Ward, were the last off the plane, greeted by Queenstown Lakes Mayor
Jim Boult, Queenstown Airport Corporation chief executive Colin Keel
and board chairwoman Prue Flacks - and a cacophony.
She was presented with a gift from Mr Boult, which included a $500 card
to spend on activities around the region and a Highlands Motorsport Park
package, including VIP lounge access, a Porsche fast lap and go-kart
Mr Brunton said the family were in Queenstown for the night before
heading to Te Anau 'to go bush' for the Christmas period.
Mr Keel said greeting the two millionth passenger was not just about
achieving the milestone, but what it represented.
'It represents a really ... vibrant airport community, of 700 people, a
vibrant [Queenstown] community and how it's grown over the more than
50 years we've had scheduled flight services [and] it just represents all
of the amazing work around the community - people starting businesses,
people growing businesses, growing jobs, amazing activities and
amazing events.'
Next year the airport was set to welcome even more flights with Jetstar
announcing earlier this month it would reintroduce thrice-weekly
services between Queenstown and Wellington at the end of March, and
Air New Zealand following suit by saying it would boost the number of
seats between the capital and the resort from April.
Air New Zealand regional affairs manager Ian Collier said the airline was
pleased to be part of the occasion.
'We are excited to be involved with this significant milestone for
Queenstown Airport. Queenstown is one of the most popular
destinations on our domestic network and we've seen tremendous
growth in demand over recent years.'
Mr Keel said it was great to see the confidence airlines had in
Queenstown and the airport would work its hardest to ensure that
'Key to that is making sure that the airport environment is sustainable,
so we have a responsibility to do that as well.
'It's going to be a real focus to make sure it's sustainable and not just
growth [for the sake of it]. The key thing is that we engage with the
community ... but we ask them to think not just about today, but about

Source: Otago Daily Times


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