Air New Zealand, the flag carrier of New Zealand and the country’s national airline, is launching non-stop trans-Tasman flights to Rotorua in New Zealand’s North Island from Sydney in Australia on December 19, 2009. The new Rotorua-Sydney service, a statement from Air New Zealand said, will be advantageous for those travelling in Australasia.

The airline will use the Airbus A320 aircraft, with 152 seats, for the two-times-a-week Rotorua-Sydney flights.

The new Rotorua-Sydney flight is being launched with a one-way special fare of $209.

Air New Zealand will operate, from December 19, 2009, flights to Rotorua on Saturdays and Mondays till the end of January 2009, and thereafter the service will be operated on Saturdays and Tuesdays.

With the commencement of the new service, these travellers from Asia will be able to fly directly to Rotorua from Sydney, instead of via Auckland.

According to Glen Sowry, the flights between Rotorua and Sydney are expected to attract, in the winter season, skiers from Australia to the ski fields of New Zealand’s Central North Island.

The new flights, according to him, also will make Rotorua the “gateway to the Ventral North Island” as well as give the residents of Tauranga, Hawke’s Bay, Whakatane Taupo and other areas in the region a “convenient and competitive” trans-Tasman service.