30 December 2016
Auckland Airport today welcomed the first passengers to arrive on Hainan Airlines’ new direct service from Shenzen, in Southern China. The airline, one of China’s largest, will fly three times a week, adding 81,000 seats a year to and from China and delivering an estimated $102 million annual boost to the New Zealand economy.
Scott Tasker, Auckland Airport’s acting general manager – aeronautical commercial, says the new service will provide valuable additional capacity to support New Zealand’s year-round appeal to the Chinese tourist market.
“In the last twelve months New Zealand has welcomed more than 400,000 Chinese visitors – with almost 90 per cent entering the country here at Auckland Airport. The Chinese market is integral to the New Zealand tourism industry’s growth objectives - and this new service provides a direct connection to a city of some 10.5 million, with convenient domestic connections to Beijing and throughout the Guangdong Province.”
The addition of Hainan Airlines caps off a year of significant growth for Auckland Airport, which has seen international passenger movements increase by over 11 per cent. Total passenger movements for the last 12 months, as reported in Auckland Airport’s November’s monthly traffic update, were in excess of 18 million.
To cater for this growth, the airport company is spending more than a million dollars every day on infrastructure improvements, including a significant expansion and upgrade of its international terminal, and expects at least this level of investment to be maintained over the next five years.
“Just this last month we have opened new remote stands and a new taxiway, and over the next 18 months we will be opening, in stages, a world-class new international departure lounge and two new gate stands and lounges,” says Scott Tasker.
“These new facilities are incremental additions as we build our ‘airport of the future’ – and we are delighted that Hainan Airlines will be part of this exciting future for Auckland Airport.”
About Hainan Airlines:
Hainan Airlines is part of the HNA group and is the largest privately-owned air transport company and the fourth largest airline in terms of fleet size in China. The airline has been operating for 23 years with 162 aircraft in operation and since 2011 has won six consecutive global SKYTRAX five-star airline ratings. This new service will use an A330 aircraft.
For further information please contact:
+64 27 406 3024