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New lights, more flights for Queenstown

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/05/2016

Queenstown Airport's lights have been switched on and it will offer long-awaited night flights for the first time during the winter.

About 200 lights have been installed or repositioned as part of the airport's $18 million runway infrastructure upgrade.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges was at the event on Wednesday night.

"In winter months, Australians make up 80 per cent of Queenstown's international passengers," he said.

"Previously, night time flights weren't an option but these new runway lights mean people now have more flexible and convenient access to the region all year round."

Queenstown is one of the New Zealand's top tourist destinations.

In 2012 more than 1.1m visitors passed through the airport, by 2015 that had grown to 1.5m.

Air NZ operated the first evening flight to Queenstown on Saturday - one of series planned before scheduled night flights begin in July.

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