24 March 2015
China Eastern Airlines has announced a new four-weekly year-round service on the Auckland to Shanghai route, commencing September 2015.
China Eastern Airlines operated a seasonal service for the first time on the Auckland to Shanghai route from December 2014 to March 2015. This seasonal service has been so successful that the airline is now expanding to four flights per week year-round from September 2015.
Norris Carter, Auckland Airport’s general manager aeronautical commercial, says, “The announcement is great news as it will add an additional 100,000 seats per year on this route, contributing an estimated $122 million to the New Zealand economy.”
“We have experienced great growth in Chinese visitors travelling to New Zealand during the peak season, with the 2015 Chinese New Year setting a record for Chinese arrivals to New Zealand,” says Mr Carter.
“China is now New Zealand’s second largest tourism market, with overall Chinese passenger arrivals increasing by 14.1 between 2013 and 2014,” continues Mr Carter. “As well as this, the growth in quality Free Independent Travellers and group tours travelling direct from China to New Zealand, has seen Chinese spend in New Zealand grow to $4,100 per visitor.”
“Expanding the service to year-round opens up new travel market opportunities from mainland China via Shanghai, for tourists seeking premium travel experiences in New Zealand and aligns strongly with our ‘Four Season, Five Senses’ project, which is jointly funded by Auckland Airport and the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment.”
“The ‘Four Seasons, Five Senses’ project aims to drive tourism growth from China by promoting the unique and iconic activities that our country has to offer across the seasons. These activities engage the five senses of travellers with a focus on high quality food and wine, cultural and adventure experiences.”
“The ‘Four Seasons, Five Senses’ project also supports the New Zealand Tourism Industry Association’s Tourism 2025 framework to grow sustainable air connectivity and increase New Zealand tourism demand in the off-peak seasons,” finishes Mr Carter.
Ms Kathy Zhang, General Manager Oceania for China Eastern Airlines, says the airline is expanding its Auckland to Shanghai service due to the strong demand it has experienced for its 2014 / 2015 peak season service.
“New Zealand is continuing to evolve in its popularity as a destination for Chinese travellers,” says Ms Zhang. “We are excited to further grow our relationships in New Zealand and look forward to continued strong demand in this market.”
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