Auckland Airport welcomes China Southerns additional Chinese New Year flights

22 November 2013

Auckland Airport has today welcomed the announcement that China Southern Airlines will increase its Auckland flights during the 2014 Chinese New Year. The two 787 return flights are in addition to the 10 weekly 787 flights during the December to March summer peak, already announced by the airline.

Glenn Wedlock, Auckland Airport’s general manager aeronautical commercial, says the new flights on 26 and 28 January 2014 will provide an extra 900 seats during this important Chinese festival and holiday period.

“Today’s announcement confirms the long-term strength of the Chinese outbound market and New Zealand as a popular travel destination. It also signals the growing interest New Zealanders have in China as a travel destination.”

“While Chinese passenger numbers to New Zealand decreased by 11.6% in October this year, this was very much due to the new Chinese travel law which shifted demand forward into September.”

“The new law has actually driven more growth towards the New Zealand direct services and away from dual destination services via Australia. This significantly increases the high-value free independent Chinese travellers which stay longer and tend to visit more of New Zealand,” says Mr Wedlock.

China Southern Airlines New Zealand General Manager, Mike Ma, says “There has been a very strong booking pattern for the peak summer season. Overall forward bookings have already reached more than 80% and we are very confident that the strong growth will continue into the new year.”

Mr Wedlock says, “We believe the new travel law and increased direct China Southern capacity provide an opportunity for the New Zealand industry to invest more and capture a greater share of high-value Chinese tourism. Therefore, it is important for us to be even more ambitious and creative at this time.

Ends

Note for media: China Southern Airlines is currently flying daily Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights direct between Auckland and Guangzhou. They have announced they will increase this to 10 Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights per week from 1 December 2013 to 3 March 2014.

For further information please contact:

Simon Lambourne
+64 9 255 9089
+64 27 477 6120
simon.lambourne@aucklandairport.co.nz