Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia have announced they will operate a seasonal non-stop service between Christchurch and Perth again this year following the success of this summer’s inaugural season. Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon made the announcement on behalf of the alliance partners this afternoon at a tourism stakeholder event in Christchurch. The second seasonal Boeing 767 service will operate twice weekly from 13 December this year until 25 April 2015. Mr Luxon says the inaugural season, which will end in late April this year, has already proven very popular with customers travelling in both directions. “In this coming season we will offer more than 17,000 seats directly linking the two regions and we expect the flights to be popular once again with both leisure and business travellers.” Virgin Australia Chief Commercial Officer Judith Crompton says both the Western Australian and Canterbury economies are performing well and it makes sense to continue to support this with a direct air service between the two regions. “Stakeholders, including Christchurch and Perth Airports, trade partners and regional tourism organisations both in New Zealand and in Western Australia have embraced this service with enthusiasm and have all played an important part in its success to date.” Flights for the second season are on sale from today through Air New Zealand and from tomorrow through Virgin Australia.