Hundreds of Chinese travellers will celebrate Chinese New Year
this month by travelling to the South Island.
Christchurch Airport and China Southern Airlines (CZ) will
celebrate the return of the B787 Dreamliner, with the first of this
summer's charter flights arriving on February 15.
Airport Chief Executive Malcolm Johns says visitors who enjoyed
last year's inaugural charter flights have encouraged others to
travel here this year.
"Just as last year's visitors did, the visitors from Guangzhou
will land in Christchurch, then travel around the South Island to
enjoy the experiences they have heard so much about," he says.
"The South Island is our place in the world and Chinese visitors
want to experience the wide open spaces, mountains, lakes,
glaciers, starlit skies and all manner of adventures, as well as
the famous southern hospitality. The charter visitors want to treat
themselves to something special over Chinese New Year and since it
heralds the beginning of The Year of The Sheep, it is even more
fitting they land in Canterbury!"
General Manager New Zealand for China Southern Airlines, Mike
Ma, says seats on the charter flight have been keenly sought
"We're delighted to bring the February charters to Christchurch,
the gateway to the spectacular South Island. Last year's
charters were very popular and the GZL travel agency has since had
lots of inquiries about seats on any available flights this
The celebration will begin very soon after the visitors land.
They will walk into the specially decorated Christchurch Airport
terminal to be welcomed with performances by the Christchurch Pops
Choir, with many visitors expected to take advantage of a special
photo opportunity available in the terminal.
Mr Johns says the South Island continues to be New Zealand's
fastest-growing travel destination for Chinese visitors, with
Christchurch its natural gateway.
"Latest figures from Statistics NZ show Christchurch Airport has
seen a more than 50% increase in the number of Chinese passengers
in the 12 months to November 2014, compared to the previous year.
That highlights the fascination Chinese travellers have for the
South Island," he says.
"The airport's growth in passenger arrivals means the gains
from Chinese tourism will spread across all regions in the South
Island, which is great news for regional economies and
About China Southern Airlines
China Southern Airlines operates the largest fleet, most
developed route network and world's 3rd largest passenger capacity
of any airline and the largest in Asia, and The People's Republic
China Southern Airlines currently operates more than 500
passenger and cargo transport aircraft. The airline fleet is ranked
first in Asia and fifth among the 240 Airlines in IATA, in terms of
fleet size. China Southern Airlines is the first airline in the
world to operate both A380 and 787.
China Southern Airlines has more than 1,930 daily flights to 190
destinations in 40 countries and regions across the world. Through
its SkyTeam member airlines, China Southern Airlines' global route
network spans 1024 destinations to 187 countries and regions and
nearly every major world metropolis.