The return of direct flights from Tokyo to Christchurch is being
welcomed by Christchurch International Airport Limited (CIAL).
From next Monday, Air New Zealand will fly direct services into
Christchurch from Japan three times a week. The airline had cut its
direct Tokyo-Christchurch flights following the earthquakes earlier
CIAL General Manager of Aeronautical Business Development Matthew
Findlay says the flights illustrate the strong demand from Japanese
travellers to visit the South Island.
"Christchurch Airport is the gateway to the South Island and
travellers arriving here tell us they love flying in over the
mountains they came to see," says Mr Findlay.
"Many international travellers book their trip to New Zealand
with the expectation of seeing our stunning scenery - mountains and
lakes. They get the promise of that as they fly in to Christchurch
and know it's only a short drive from this city to see more of what
Mr Findlay says Christchurch Airport is committed to the
"We've been involved in a number of joint venture marketing
initiatives to ensure the return of these direct services. We
will continue to work on increasing visitor numbers all year
round," he says.
"With three direct services from Tokyo per week, we expect
tourism numbers from Japan direct into the South Island to increase
noticeably over the summer months."
Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter
says Air New Zealand's decision to reinstate regular direct flights
is a sign confidence is returning in Canterbury as a destination
and that the South Island remains a premier drawcard for Japanese
"It is a really positive development and will provide a big
morale boost to our tourism operators. Japan has traditionally been
a very important market for us, so it is vital to have the direct
air link," Mr Hunter says.