Christchurch Airport is welcoming a new link between the people
of Taiwan and the people of the South Island, with today's
announcement of a summer service by China Airlines.
Chief Executive Malcolm Johns says the new service will operate
three return flights a week for an initial summer season from
December 2, 2014 to March 1, 2015.
"The South Island was a very popular destination for the
Taiwanese in the 1990s," says Mr Johns. "The new summer service
will connect with the valuable Taiwan market, whose travellers are
keen to experience the many attractions of the South Island.
"The service will offer an extra 24,000 seats between
Christchurch-Sydney-Taipei over December/January/February, which
underlines the on-going importance of Sydney as an international
airport hub for the South Island."
Mr Johns says a current feature of the aviation industry is the
emergence of alliances. China Airlines is a member of the Sky Team
Alliance, which does not currently connect with the South Island.
Other members of the Sky Team Alliance who currently fly daily to
Sydney include Delta Air Lines, Korean Airlines, China Southern
Airlines, China Eastern and Garuda Indonesia.
"This will be the first SkyTeam airline to serve Christchurch
and the South Island, which we welcome. The 20 SkyTeam member
airlines offer more than 16,000 daily flights to more than 1050
destinations in 177 countries, so this service opens up multiple
new outbound destinations for the people of the South Island," he
"This service also brings another wide body aircraft into
Christchurch, so is great news for the air freight industry.
Importantly, China Airlines also provides a great network for
exporters to get high value air freight into the fast growing Asian
markets quickly. A recent report commissioned by CDC and produced
by PWC noted that the South Island is missing out on exporting
about 17,000 tonnes of high value air freight exports annually
because of the lack of wide body aircraft servicing
CEO of Canterbury Development Corporation, Tom Hooper, welcomes
the new service and
the additional air freight capacity it will bring to the
"Getting Christchurch more connected globally is a principal
driver of economic growth and this new service is an excellent
addition to our international network which will help the overall
economy in a number of areas," he says.
"The service will also offer more freight capacity to Sydney and
on to Asia, so another opportunity for fresh and time sensitive
The new service offers a total time of 14 hour and 15 minutes,
including transit time in Sydney, which is up to four hours shorter
and one stop less than any other option currently available. It
also allows the growing number of Taiwanese visitors to New Zealand
to get where they want to go - the South Island - quicker and more
directly than any current indirect options.
CEO of Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism, Tim Hunter, says
the service is very welcome because it meets a definite need.
"We know there is demand from Taiwan for travellers to visit the
South Island. We have seen 8% growth in holiday arrivals from
Taiwan to New Zealand in the past year and we are confident this
new connection to the South Island will stimulate new holiday
demand. The service will also appeal to travellers from other North
Airport Chief Executive Malcolm Johns says the new summer
service comes with a reminder
for South Island travellers.
"As with all new services, it comes with a 'use it or lose it'
caveat, so we encourage the people of the South Island to take
advantage of it this summer. These flights will be the last heading
to Sydney from Christchurch each evening, so are sure to work well
for South Islanders heading overseas."
Please note: Images available on request