China Southern Airlines has reestablished the only nonstop route between China and New Zealand’s South Island with three weekly flights between Guangzhou and Christchurch.

The carrier deploys one of its latest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft on the route, seating 28 in 1-2-1 business class, also 28 in 2-4-2 premium economy and 220 in 3-3-3 economy class.

The business cabin is equipped with Thompson Aero Vantage XL seats, offering direct aisle access to each passenger.

From 9 December, China Southern will upgrade Guangzhou-Christchurch to five-weekly flights.

Pre-pandemic, the airline had daily flights to the city.

“Our connection from Guangzhou to Christchurch was launched in 2015, and over the following four years grew from a summer seasonal service to a daily year-round link between our two countries,” Christchurch airport chief executive, Justin Watson, said earlier this year.

“With a staggering growth rate of more than 250% in only three years, China Southern’s growth at Christchurch expanded from one charter flight back in 2015, to a daily Boeing 777 in 2019.

“Our China market has expanded from around 45,000 in 2015, to almost 120,000 passengers flying direct into Christchurch Airport,” Watson noted.

Christchurch is the primary gateway to the natural wonders of New Zealand’s South Island.

Separately, Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific Airways has announced the resumption of its seasonal Hong Kong-Christchurch service with three flights a week starting 16 December 2023 through to 29 February 2024 with the airline’s latest-technology Airbus A350 aircraft.