China Southern Airlines flies to Auckland

16 Dec 2010

China Southern Airlines will mount flights between Guangzhou and Auckland from April 30 next year, reflecting the growing demand for connections between Asia and the southern hemisphere.

The carrier will fly to Auckland three times a week via Melbourne, using an Airbus A330 aircraft. Schedules have not yet been confirmed.

Currently, New Zealand and China function on a bilateral agreement allowing carriers in both countries to operate just seven services a week each.

This announcement comes only a short time after Air Asia X announced flights between Kuala Lumpur and Christchurch (see story here) and Thai Airways announced an increase in frequency on flights between Bangkok and Auckland to seven times a week starting in July next year. Jetstar has also announced plans to expand its network by mounting flights between Singapore and Auckland from March next year.

The additional traffic will provide an inevitable boost to New Zealand’s economy for both trade and tourism. According to Tourism New Zealand, the new link to China’s third largest city alone will provide a US$37 million boost to their economy.

Auckland Airport chief executive, Steve Moutter, said: “Better connections with Asia, in particular China, are critical for New Zealand’s trade and tourism.”

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Alisha Haridasani

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