First Dreamliner service scheduled for Adelaide as SA takes off

15 March 2017

Hon Leon Bignell MP
Minister for Tourism

Air New Zealand is the latest international airline to boost its flights to Adelaide with an announcement today to introduce a new, bigger aircraft – its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner – on the Auckland to Adelaide route from October.

This means more international visitors for South Australia from New Zealand – which is one of our top four markets – and connecting markets such as the United States which continues to attract high numbers of in-bound visitors.

New statistics released today reveal continued growth in international visitors and expenditure and show the US has become SA’s second largest market for inbound travel – up 33 per cent to 53,000 visits.

The Australian International Visitor Survey figures show in the year to December 2016 more than 430,000 international visitors came to South Australia, bringing tourism-related expenditure to a record $971 million.

Business travellers spend three times more than average visitors to South Australia and Air New Zealand’s new Dreamliner flights with business class seats are expected to further boost the numbers of business travellers to our state.

Air New Zealand will operate its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft three times a week between Auckland and Adelaide over the peak season from late October.

These services will be complemented by up to three weekly Airbus A320 services.

In the past five years, international seat numbers have increased by 66 per cent with Emirates, Qatar, and China Southern flying direct to Adelaide and airlines like Air New Zealand increasing the frequency of their flights and the size of their aircraft.

The airline’s Dreamliner offers 18 Business Premier seats, 21 Premium Economy seats and 263 Economy seats.

The Australian International Visitor Survey results from December 2015 to December 2016 show:

  • International visits to South Australia grew by 5.8 percent, with expenditure rising 8.2 percent. 
  • Chinese visits increased by 41 percent to 45,000, injecting over $250 million into the State’s visitor economy.
  • The United States of America became the second largest market for inbound travel - up 33 percent to 53,000 visits, while the United Kingdom remained the largest. 
  • New Zealand expenditure is up 13 percent to $57 million. 
  • Ninety per cent of international visitors (365,000) spent time in Adelaide, followed by the Limestone Coast with 46,000 visitors, then Kangaroo Island and the Flinders Ranges and Outback.

To view the International Visitor Survey Results visit

South Australia's visitor economy has reached a massive $6.2 billion – which is an $800 million improvement in the past year. The tourism industry has also created an extra 4000 jobs around the State.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell
We are thrilled with Air New Zealand’s increased commitment to South Australia. It is fantastic to have the airline’s Chief Revenue Officer Cam Wallace and members of its senior leadership team in Adelaide today announcing they will be the first airline to bring the Dreamliner to South Australia.

We will be working with Air New Zealand to promote South Australia across the Tasman and in the US, further boosting our international visitor numbers which reached another record high today. Visitors are spending more when they come to South Australia with holiday, education and business expenditure all up.

The State Government has invested an extra $70 million into promoting South Australia internationally and nationally and the additional funding for our Major Events and Conferences Bid Funds has allowed us to secure drawcard events. This includes the Socceroos v Saudi Arabia, Mundine v Green II, Women’s Australian Open Golf, the Rolling Stones and the world's first day-night cricket test matches as well as World Routes 2019 and the World Fisheries Congress.

We’ve also invested in our Medical precinct, Riverbank precinct, Adelaide Oval and the Adelaide Convention Centre which have all become fantastic drawcards.

For the second year in a row SA was named the best major events state in Australia and we’ve been listed as one of Lonely Planet’s Top five regions in the world to visit during 2017.

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