Bring back some flight services to Queenstown

This petition made change with 5,450 supporters!

COVID-19 and our response to COVID-19 has resulted in Queenstown becoming the worst hit area in New Zealand. 

In Queenstown, 2 out of 3 people are employed in tourism. Compare this with Rotorua, another tourism hotspot, where only 1 in 5 are employed in tourism.

Around 70% of tourists in Queenstown come from international visitors. Many businesses have already closed, or will close, due to 90% of their income coming from international visitors. 

Many businesses have also seen large scale redundancies with more job losses coming over the weeks ahead. Many are predicting 25%-50% of downtown businesses in Queenstown are set to close. Already 8,000 of Queenstown’s population of 25,000 have registered with Civil Defence and the Council for food grants and other emergency assistance. 

Our people are stressed, struggling to make ends meet and suffering.

Queenstown was the 4th busiest airport prior to COVID-19 and now we have seven airports open across New Zealand under Alert Level 3. Queenstown is not one of them. 

Queenstown is now one of the most isolated towns in New Zealand with one of the greatest distances to an operational airport. It is a 5.5 hr drive to Christchurch airport and a 3.5 hr drive to Dunedin airport.

We need some flights for the wellbeing of our community. 

This is not just the airport for the township of Queenstown.

The airport is heavily used by people within the wider Southland and Central Otago districts. Many people from as far as Invercargill, Te Anau and Alexandra often drive to Queenstown to use it.

We are now being held back further from not currently having any flights to our airport. 

People living in Queenstown and surrounding areas need flights to conduct business across New Zealand, to travel for medical appointments, and to visit family. Workers who returned to other parts of New Zealand prior to lockdown need to return to Queenstown for work. A significant part of the much needed domestic tourism market will have to come from the rest of New Zealand (once we hit lower alert levels).

If we get some flight services returning back to Queenstown (especially at Alert Level 2 and below) it will result in some normality for people living in the region and also provide much needed stimulation for our wonderful businesses in town. This will mean fewer jobs will be lost. This will mean more bread and butter on the table for our workers and their children.

I am not asking for full services. Just some flights that will make a huge difference during these tough times. 

We need this lifeline. Please act, Air New Zealand and the New Zealand Government. 

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