The first international flight out of the all new Canberra Airport departed this morning at 10:40am.
A closed charter direct from Canberra to Auckland, Virgin Australia flight VA9650 transported 156 Brumbies fans to New Zealand for the Super 14 Rugby Grand Final in Hamilton tomorrow night.
Pulled together in less than a week, the flight arrangements were the result of cooperation across a wide range of agencies.
Special temporary check-in, customs and gate lounge facilities were created to accommodate the international service.
Canberra Airport Managing Director, Stephen Byron thanked and congratulated all those involved in making the flight happen.
“Well done to everyone – it is a real credit to all those involved and testament to their knowledge, capability, commitment and great relationships with others that this was able to happen in such a short space of time.
“Thank you for all of the hard work, including those that came in at 5am this morning to make sure this all went off without a hitch.”
The charter will return to Canberra from Auckland on Sunday afternoon.
Mr Byron said this milestone for the new airport terminal was just a taste of things to come.
“The new terminal is on track to be fully completed by the end of this year, including the international component (customs, quarantine, immigration). We continue our discussions with international airlines and look forward to them delivering direct international services to the National Capital and surrounding region,” Mr Byron said.