Air New Zealand will be operating additional flights between New Zealand and Shanghai and Beijing from December.
On December 6, the carrier will increase the number of flights to Beijing from two times a week to a three-times-a week service. Then, between December 11, 2011, and March 18, 2012, the carrier will operate flights four times a week to Shanghai, up from its current thrice-weekly service.
The additional flight to Beijing will operate on Tuesdays and the additional flight to Shanghai will run on Sundays. The aircraft types and schedules have yet to be announced.
New Zealand’s appeal as a tourism destination for the Chinese market is predicted to grow at a rate of 8.4 percent per year between now and 2016. Other carriers that have tapped in to capitalise on this lucrative route are China Southern Airlines, which launched flights between Guangzhou and Auckland in December last year (see story here), along with AirAsia X, Jetstar and Thai Airways.
Currently, New Zealand and China have a bilateral agreement allowing carriers to fly seven times a week between the two countries. With these new flights, Air New Zealand is using its full quota of allowable services per week.