The leading airline in Taiwan, China Airlines, says its first
season of flying to Christchurch was so successful, it will expand
the service for the entire upcoming summer.
The airline says the increased services - and thousands more
seats - are a direct result of a successful three-month service
operated last December, January and February.
China Airlines New Zealand Branch General Manager, Shirley Yang,
says "Our inaugural service last summer was a huge success for us.
The Taipei-Sydney-Christchurch service was our most successful
sector on our global network at that time, so it was an easy
decision to expand the service next summer.
"The service will operate three times a week from Taipei to
Christchurch, via Sydney, and return the same way. We expect to see
even more East Asian travellers using the service to get to the
South Island, as well as the Sydney connection being used by many
travellers, including New Zealanders and Australians."
Christchurch Airport's Chief Commercial Officer - Aeronautical,
Justin Watson, says the increased service is great news for the
regional economies of the South Island.
"It is estimated that the value of the Taiwanese visitors
carried last summer by China Airlines was in excess of $15m," he
says. "Official statistics show about 75% of international visitors
arriving into Christchurch visit other regions in the South
"Christchurch Airport has seen passenger numbers over the recent
summer months grow well above the national averages. Statistics
show more than 70% of the passengers on the China Airlines service
are from North Asian markets, or further afield, highlighting the
significant interest in the South Island from long haul
"It's good news for South Island travellers too. China Airlines
is a member of the Sky Team Alliance, which means 20 member
airlines offering more than 16,000 daily flights to more than 1050
destinations in 177 countries. Through China Airlines, South
Islanders have connections to most places in the world."