Taipei-based carrier China Airlines is to offer a three-times weekly service to Auckland (via Brisbane) from the start of next year, according to industry website airlineroute.net.
The website reports that GDS timetables show the carrier will extend its existing Taipei-Brisbane route onto Auckland from January 1, 2011. Operated by A330-300 aircraft, flight CI053 will depart Taipei at 2350, landing in Brisbane at 1035 the next day, before taking off for Auckland at 1215 and landing at 1825. The return leg CI054 will leave Auckland at 2045. landing in Brisbane at 2125, before departing for Taipei at 2315 and landing at 0600 the next day.
China Airlines had previously offered a service to Auckland connecting via Sydney, but will now compete with the likes of Qantas, Air New Zealand, Pacific Blue and Emirates on the Brisbane-Auckland route. China Airlines is set to join Skyteam in 2011 (see online news September 14), and commenced direct flights to London in March this year (see online news January 11).
In other related news:
- In May this year China Southern Airlines announced it would launch a Guangzhou-Brisbane-Auckland service (see online news May 26). The Guangzhou-Brisbane section commenced today (November 3), but as yet the carrier’s website does not offer the option of connecting flights to Auckland.
- Local media in New Zealand report that Air Asia X is to launch flights between Kuala Lumpur and Christchurch. No start date is given, but the website nzherald.co.nz quotes AirAsia X chief executive Azran Osman-Rani as saying that the choice of Christchurch (over Auckland) as its first New Zealand port reflected its “great destinational appeal”. It’s understood the route will launch in early 2011. but it’s unclear whether the flight will operate direct from Kuala Lumpur or with a stop in Australia.
Report by Mark Caswell